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Ahead of the European Council (Article 50) today, the European Commission has taken stock of the European Union's intense ‘no-deal' preparations and has issued practical guidance to Member States in 5 areas.
These areas include citizens' residence and social security entitlements, data protection, medicine and medical devices, police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, and fisheries. The aim of today's guidance is to ensure the smooth practical implementation of EU and national contingency measures, if the United Kingdom were to leave the EU without a deal on 12 April, or at a later date, and to maintain a coordinated approach throughout any such ‘no-deal' phase. A ‘no-deal' withdrawal will cause disruption and is not desirable, but the EU is fully prepared for it.
As outlined by President Juncker in the European Parliament on 3 April 2019, should a ‘no-deal' scenario occur, the UK would be expected to address three main separation issues as a precondition before the EU would consider embarking on discussions about the future relationship. These are: (1) protecting and upholding the rights of citizens who have used their right to free movement before Brexit, (2) honouring the financial obligations the UK has made as a Member State and (3) preserving the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland, as well as the integrity of the internal market.