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Britain and the EU are still trying to secure a trade deal, after months of negotiations. Time is desperately running out for the two sides to reach an agreement, which is causing frustration among several European governments. They fear there won’t be enough time to prepare their countries for a no deal Brexit.
As a result, they are set to demand that the European Commission publish its no deal plans, which has so far been kept under wraps.
A senior EU diplomat said: “We must now come up with contingency measures. January 1, 2021 is getting close; we need a safety net.
“Of course, this sends out a political signal. But it is high time to prepare people and businesses in case we cannot fix an agreement in time.
“I know member states will ask to get contingency measures out into the open.”
France, Belgium and the Netherlands appear to be leading the calls for the document to be published.
These states are the ones most concerned about post-Brexit fishing rights, as they have large fishing industries reliant on access to British waters.
The three countries are concerned that businesses and fishing communities will be hit by economic disruption without EU contingency measures in place to minimise the effects of a no deal.
Fishing remains a major sticking point in the talks, with the UK seeking to negotiate a greater share of its own waters.
But the EU is determined for the status quo to remain, with French President Emmanuel Macron being particularly vocal on this matter.
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