The European Commission has announced that it has started implementing its Brexit “no deal” Contingency Action Plan given the continuing uncertainty regarding ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK.  This follows the Commission’s communication of 13 November 2018 which provided details of the types of contingency measures that it intended to take in a variety of areas, as well as the 78 preparedness notices from Commission departments on how Brexit will change law and policy.

The Contingency Action Plan includes 14 limited measures that the Commission considers it essential to adopt to protect the EU’s interests in the event of “no deal”, including for example:

  • Citizen’s rights:  An invitation to Member states to take a generous approach to the rights of UK citizens in the EU including by taking measures to ensure that UK citizens legally residing in the EU after 29 March 2019 will continue to be considered as legal residents.  It will be recalled that Theresa May confirmed on 21 September that the rights of EU citizens in the UK will be protected in a similar way.
  • Financial services:  A limited number of contingency measures has been deemed necessary, including a temporary and conditional equivalence decision for (a) 12 months to ensure that there will be no disruption in central clearing of derivatives; and (b) 24 months to ensure that there will be no disruption in services provided by the UK central securities depositories.
  • Aviation: Regulations to (a) ensure temporarily, for 12 months, the provision of certain air services between the UK and EU, allowing air carriers from the UK to fly across EU territory without landing and perform scheduled and non-scheduled stops; and (b) to extend temporarily, for 9 months, the validity of certain existing aviation safety licences.
  • Road haulage: As road haulage will be restricted to an international system of limited quotas in the event of “no deal”, the Commission proposes a Regulation to allow UK operators temporary access (9 months) to carry goods into the EU.

The Commission has made it clear that the measures are intended to temporary in nature, limited in scope, conditional on the UK’s reciprocity and will not replicate the benefits of EU membership.


Tom Henderson
Tom Henderson
Senior Associate
+44 20 7466 2898