In the face of an uncertain future for the United Kingdom, German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed that Germany is drawing up contingency plans for a no-Brexit deal:
“It is only fitting as a responsible and forward-thinking government leadership that we prepare for every scenario – that includes the possibility of Great Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement.”
Merkel made the revelation to the German parliament in a special address during her “big Brexit speech”, ahead of a European council meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
Prime Minister of France, Édouard Philippe said on Monday that in the event Britain fails to reach a deal with the European Union, Paris will be ready with the so-called ‘cliff-edge’ departure. He has “tasked ministers to prepare contingency measures that would be necessary… to mitigate the difficulties linked with this unprecedented challenge”.
President Emmanuel Macron has been encouraging British citizens residing in France to apply for ‘carte de séjour’ residency permit so they won’t get caught in the post-Brexit administrative chaos.
Without emergency measures, the approximately 150,000 British citizens living in France would become third-country nationals.
A no-deal Brexit would also mean British citizens who are armed with a work contract under French law and is contracted with a French employer could be asked for a document that would authorize them to work in France.
Merkel aired out the same concerns:
“This brings with it a whole array of questions, such as: how, the day after Brexit, do we manage the estimated 100,000 British citizens who, in some cases, have been living in Germany for years?
“How do we deal, for example, with teachers of British citizenship, who are classed as German civil servants, and how should that continue? How do we appropriately prepare our authorities for the added burdens to do with customs issues?”
France and Germany remain hopeful that a deal can still be reached. However, it is for the best interest of their people that emergency measures be set up to avert the dire consequences of Britain leaving EU without an accord.