This looks set to be yet another important week in the Brexit negotiations – but preparations are also being stepped up in case no deal emerges on a withdrawal agreement between the UK and the European Union.
So far, the UK government has published more than 100 technical notices urging businesses and consumers to prepare for no deal.
A BBC report says that “for any country that does a lot of trade with the UK, customs is of primary concern. But it is worth pointing out that nearly all customs issues are dealt with at a European level by the European Commission, so any measures that might be taken in places such as Calais would depend in large part on what gets decided by the EU as a whole.”
We read that the “European Commission’s role doesn’t mean that French customs hasn’t been taking steps to prepare for Brexit. An additional 250 members of staff have been recruited this year – a number that will rise to about 700 by the end of 2020. French customs has also produced some detailed online information (in French)for businesses on how to prepare for Brexit in all its potential forms.
It adds that:
“The French government published a draft bill emphasising “no deal” would result in reinstating “checks on goods and passengers to and from the UK” as well as inspections of food, plants and live animals. The French senate is debating what to do about Brexit, on Tuesday. The draft bill would give the government (rather than parliament) the power to introduce new measures by emergency decree if it needed to avoid or mitigate the consequences of a hard or no-deal Brexit. But politicians representing channel ports are warning that chaos and long queues would be unavoidable and both the French government and the EU need to take further steps to avoid that happening. The draft bill also focuses on citizens’ rights in the event of no deal, including what would be the legal situation of UK nationals resident in France. The bill also raises the possibility of other UK nationals needing visas to visit France. Any emergency legal measures introduced to ease the situation would, the bill says, depend on the UK taking reciprocal steps, which the UK government has already indicated that it would do.”