France is "preparing for every scenario" on Brexit, says PM
Brexit – Interministerial meeting on Brexit – Press release issued by M. Jean Castex, Prime Minister
Paris, 12 October 2020
On 12 October 2020, the Prime Minister brought the ministers together to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the date when the United Kingdom definitively leaves the European Union.
In 2018, in order to be ready on 1 January 2021, the Government began taking the necessary measures to:
1. Implement the provisions within the withdrawal agreement signed in 2019 on the status of British nationals in France. A platform where British nationals living in France can apply for permits will be accessible on 19 October 2020. Prefectures are also fully mobilized to respond to British nationals’ applications.
2. Restore checks on people and goods: 1,200 people have been recruited and trained and are on standby for customs, sanitary and phytosanitary checks at the borders. The operators of infrastructure (ports, train stations and airports) have also made the necessary arrangements and done the necessary work to ensure that border checks are operational from 1 January 2021 onwards.
3. Raise awareness among the public, businesses and regions, to prompt economic operators and individuals to step up their preparedness. The website www.brexit.gouv.fr, operational since 1 December 2018, is being regularly updated: among other things, it provides answers to questions by French citizens living in the UK, businesses that trade with the UK and British nationals living in France.
The Prime Minister asked the ministries to put themselves in a position to respond quickly to all the questions asked by businesses, regions and individuals.
He also asked the ministers concerned and the State services to ensure ongoing, close consultation with local elected representatives and economic players on the ground and in every region, given that the the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union potentially concerns the whole country. European support mechanisms will be activated to respond to questions from the most affected regions and sectors.
Negotiations on an agreement about the future relationship are also continuing. Even though it would like to avoid a no-deal, France is preparing for every scenario, in close consultation with its European partners and the European Commission.
A no-deal could have an additional impact. Work is therefore under way with all the ministries concerned to identify, in consultation with the professions and regions concerned, the most appropriate mechanisms to support the most exposed sectors./.