EU Tells Member States Not to Go Soft on U.K. in No-Deal Plans

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union warned member states not to go soft on the U.K. as they draw up contingency plans to cope with the blow of a no-deal Brexit.

In an internal memo to EU government envoys, seen by Bloomberg, the bloc notes that “contingency measures should not replicate the benefits of membership of the Union, nor the terms of any transition period.” The comments highlight concerns in Brussels that some member states may seek to cushion the outcome of a chaotic Brexit via national deals with the U.K.

Any contingency measures should be temporary, taken with the sole interest of the EU in mind, unilaterally decided and revocable. They can’t be substitutes for failing to prepare for no-deal, according to the document dated Jan. 18.

When it comes to these preparations, the memo suggests that some countries haven’t done their homework.

“There is a need to impress at national and sectoral level a sense of urgency,” the memo says, “duly taking into account that there are only a few weeks left before the withdrawal date” of March 29.

EU ambassadors in Brussels are going to discuss the document at closed-door meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

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