European Council adopts contingency measures for no deal Brexit

The European Council has adopted a series of legislative acts as part of its contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit scenario

The aim of the acts, says the Council, is to limit any damage caused by a disorderly Brexit in specific sectors where it would create a major disruption for citizens and businesses.

Social security coordination

The legislative acts include a regulation intended to safeguard, in case of no deal, the social security rights of citizens of EU member states in the UK and UK nationals in the EU27 who have benefited from the right of free movement before the UK's withdrawal from the EU.


The EU has taken temporary measures to ensure basic air transport connectivity and basic road freight and road passenger connectivity from 29 March. These measures require reciprocity from the UK side. Rules are also in place to make sure that flying between the EU and the UK remains safe.

In addition, the EU has adapted its trans-European transport networks to ensure continuity for infrastructure investment. Amended legislation on ship inspection organisations will provide legal certainty for ship operators when the UK leaves the EU.


The Council has also adopted an amendment to the regulation for the export of certain dual-use items to include the UK under the list of low-risk third countries covered by the EU general export authorisations.

The legislative acts will enter into force a day after publication [19 March 2019] and start to apply the day after the UK's withdrawal in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Additional reporting by Sara White

They come on top of other measures, such as on citizens' rights, adopted by member states as part of their preparations for a no-deal scenario.

The measures are temporary in nature, limited in scope and adopted unilaterally by the EU. They are in no way intended to replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the terms of any transition period, as provided for in the withdrawal agreement. In some areas, they are conditional upon the UK's reciprocal action.

For more information, see Brexit: Council adopts a series of contingency measures for a "no-deal" scenario.

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