European Commission battens down the hatches as no-deal Brexit looms large

The European commission is intensifying its plans for a no-deal Brexit, it has emerged.
Photo Credit: European Parliament Audiovisual

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

21 Jun 2019

The news comes against the backdrop of the EU summit and also in light of Boris Johnson’s victory in the latest round of voting for the next UK Conservative leader and Prime Minister.

Johnson the former UK foreign minister who has pledged to leave the EU with or without a deal on 31 October, is the overwhelming favourite to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister.

Ahead of the summit, which began on Thursday and continues today, the Commission said that the EU is getting ready for the UK to crash out of the EU with a no-deal in the autumn.


The statement reads, “We will continue to seek agreement on the orderly withdrawal of the UK but we will also step up our preparation for a no-deal scenario. In this context, programmes that provide support for cross-border peace and reconciliation in the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be continued and strengthened.”

“The Commission stands ready to support Ireland in finding solutions answering the specific challenges that Ireland and Irish citizens, farmers and businesses will face. We will work closely together to this end over the coming weeks.”

The statement concludes, “We will continue to remind the Government of the UK of its responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement, with or without a deal.”

Elsewhere, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told his Shadow Cabinet on Wednesday that “it is now right to demand that any [Brexit] deal is put to a public vote,” adding, “A ballot paper would need to contain real choices for both Leave and Remain voters. This will of course depend on Parliament.”

This came as 26 Labour MPs, including five shadow junior ministers, wrote to Corbyn urging him not to back a second referendum.

“We will continue to seek agreement on the orderly withdrawal of the UK but we will also step up our preparation for a no-deal scenario” European Commission

The letter says, “Brexit must happen… a commitment to a second referendum would be toxic to our bedrock voters.”

It adds, “Labour has a vital role to play fighting for a Brexit for the many, not the few. But this is a battle best fought in stage two, after the UK has left.”

“Rejecting any Brexit in the hope of securing a perfect deal risks the worst outcome - a No Deal Brexit… We urge the party to put the national interest first, to back a deal before 31 October.”

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