Iain Duncan Smith notes the apparent EU final preparations for a no-deal Brexit and asks the Government if the EU therefore considers that if we do not reach a deal we will leave on the 29th March.
I welcome my hon. Friend to his place. Has he noticed that in the last few hours Monsieur Barnier has issued an instruction declaring that the EU must now prepare for the no-deal scenario, claiming that only two elements of its work need to be completed? One is short-term visas and the other is the budget for 2019. Does that mean that the EU considers that if we do not reach a deal we will leave on the 29th?
I have outlined the legal default position a couple of times already. My Department monitors the European Commission’s no-deal announcements and those of individual member states. The Commission has made no-deal announcements on Erasmus, social security, fishing, air transport, aviation safety, road haulage, trade and exports and dual-use systems, EU funding for the Peace programme, energy efficiency, the Connecting Europe Facility, shipping inspection and a whole host of other areas. The European Commission, like us, would be ready in that circumstance.