The EU prepares for the "nightmarish" Brexit

19.12.2018

The European Commission adopted a package of 14 emergency measures in the event of a "tough" exit of Britain from the community in an attempt to minimize the damage for the EU and its citizens

Brussels and London announced plans for the case of uncontrolled withdrawal of Britain from the European Union, which threatens it with serious consequences, and the United Kingdom - the same, but only in Cuba. The difference between emergency measures promulgated by London and Brussels is that the British authorities at the moment want to intimidate, first of all, their own parliamentarians. This goal is pursued by the promulgation of plans for the use of the army in order to prevent chaos caused by a break with the EU.

The hope is being made that in such a way in parliament it will be possible to push through the variant of the “soft” Brexit, which Teresa May advocates, which is not fully agreed with Brussels. In Brussels, there is a serious concern that May will not be able to enlist the support of parliament, and Brexit will therefore be “tough”. Promoted by the European Commissioner for Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis on the eve of the 14 emergency measures, the aim is to minimize the consequences of the impending catastrophe for Europeans. First of all, given the great importance of London as a global financial center, which is largely tied to European banks and financial institutions.

The European Commission has already begun to implement its emergency plan if there is no deal. Dombrovskis clarified that this package includes 14 measures in a limited number of areas where the “no deal” scenario will create serious problems for citizens and businesses in 27 EU countries.

These measures apply primarily to such areas as financial services, citizens' rights, air transport, customs policy. In order not to annoy London and not to give extra trump cards to the hands of British opponents of May, measures on one of the main Brexit problems - the status of the border between Ulster and the rest of Ireland - are excluded from the emergency plan.

In general, as emphasized in the document promulgated by Dombrovskis, Brussels "considers it necessary and urgent to take these measures today to ensure that the necessary emergency measures can enter into force on March 30, 2019". That is, before the start of the transition period, which will last until the end of 2020.

EU emergency measures on the financial side are designed to prevent “an immediate failure in centralized derivatives clearing”, as well as “in centralized depository services for EU operators who currently use the services of British operators”. These exceptions are made for 1-2 years. The EU intends to insure itself in this way from losing access to the British clearing houses, which are a key element of the financial system of the European community.

In the event of reciprocity, Brussels guaranteed that the British, legally residing in the EU before the date of the kingdom’s exit from it, would be considered legal residents and would not need visas. After the exit, visa-free travel with the UK is envisaged for short-term trips for a period of up to three months, with the condition that London will respond in the same way.

In order to prevent a collapse in the field of air traffic, some transport channels will be saved for the transition period, otherwise no British civilian aircraft will ever be able to land at European airports after Brexit. This will also be done, however, on reciprocal terms.

Speaking at the European Parliament in November, Jean-Claude Juncker called Brexit a “tragedy” and a “historical mistake”, but noted the need to “respect the choice of the British people” and “we must now do everything possible to solve the problem in the best possible way”.

 

Minimizing the risks and losses resulting from Brexit, the ability to respond quickly to threats in connection with the first ever exit of a country from the EU, in which such a procedure was not provided for at all, is what Brussels and London will have to deal with in the coming months . And it is not at all clear how they will cope with it.