The European Commission has put forward a set of targeted contingency measures ensuring basic reciprocal air and road connectivity between the EU and the UK, as well as allowing for the possibility of reciprocal fishing access by EU and UK vessels to each other’s waters.
The aim of these contingency measures is to cater for the period during which there is no agreement in place. If no agreement enters into application, they will end after a fixed period.
European Union President Ursula von der Leyen said:
Negotiations are still ongoing. However, given that the end of the transition is very near, there is no guarantee that if and when an agreement is found, it can enter into force on time.
"Our responsibility is to be prepared for all eventualities, including not having a deal in place with the UK on January 1, 2021. That is why we are coming forward with these measures today."
The proposals are as follows:
- Basic air connectivity: A proposal for a Regulation to ensure the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU for six months, provided the UK ensures the same;
- Aviation safety: A proposal for a Regulation ensuring that various safety certificates for products can continue to be used in EU aircraft without disruption, thereby avoiding the grounding of EU aircraft;
- Basic road connectivity: A proposal for a Regulation covering basic connectivity with regard to both road freight, and road passenger transport for six months, provided the UK assures the same to EU hauliers;
- Fisheries: A proposal for a Regulation to create the appropriate legal framework until December 31, 2021, or until a fisheries agreement with the UK has been concluded – whichever date is earlier – for continued reciprocal access by EU and UK vessels to each other's waters after December 13, 2020. In order to guarantee the sustainability of fisheries and in light of the importance of fisheries for the economic livelihood of many communities, it is necessary to facilitate the procedures of authorisation of fishing vessels.
Sunday 'deadline' for Brexit talks
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said that this coming Sunday (December 13) is "a point of finality" for trade talks on Brexit with the EU.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ursula Von Der Leyen last night (November 9), and held a three-hour dinner with her in the hope of breaking the deadlock around securing a deal.
Both sides have said that "major differences" between them and negotiations continue to remain difficult.
Speaking to Sky News, Raab said: "I think we view it as a point when we need some finality."
"I'm just a bit reticent ever to say - you can never say never with these EU negotiations.
Of course, it depends if the EU moves. If the EU moves substantially and actually we're only dotting a few Is or crossing a few Ts, it might be different.
"But I think without movement on the crucial two, three areas that I've described, I think that will be a point of finality.
"And that's certainly the way the UK side is approaching it," he concluded.