Brexit: European Commission implements ‘no-deal’ Contingency Action Plan

On 19 December, the European Commission announced a series of measures it is to adopt in advance of the UK’s departure from the EU to mitigate the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. 

The measures are designed to ensure continuity in eight specific sectors that would be most affected in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, and cover issues such as transport and customs, data protection, animal health, climate policy and the trade in financial services.

The measures announced would allow flights from the UK to cross over and into EU member states for 12 months, ensuring 'basic connectivity'. Similarly, those carrying freight by road into the EU will be allowed to do so for a nine-month period without having to apply for permits. 

 With regard to financial services, a limited number of areas (for example, derivatives trading) will continue to be recognised as equivalent to the EU's for a period of one or two years.

As part of its announcement, the Commission called on the remaining 27 governments to take a 'generous approach' to the rights of UK citizens residing in EU states following a no-deal Brexit. 

The EU cannot grant residency rights to third country nationals, and it will be up to each individual member state to decide on the rights of UK citizens post-Brexit.

This is the latest in a series of ‘no-deal’ Brexit notices published by the European Commission covering a wide range of potentially-affected sectors. See all of the measures published by the Commission to date.

Law Society support for members

The UK government has also published a series of ‘no-deal’ notices. It has reported that it will be stepping up no-deal preparations in the coming weeks.

The Law Society has carried out extensive work on the potential effects of Brexit on its members, and to date has published a series of documents that will be of use to solicitors in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. 

Our guidance highlights the changes that will occur and the steps members can take if we leave the EU in March without a deal:

The Law Society has prepared an extensive overview of the national regulations that apply in each jurisdiction in the EU/EFTA. This can be requested by Law Society members from the Society's International Department at

The Law Society also forms part of the UK Delegation to the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), which recently published extensive guidance on the effect of all Brexit scenarios on practice rights both for EU lawyers working in the UK and for UK lawyers working in the EU.

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