EU Claims to Be Ready for No-Deal Brexit on Oct. 31, Despite Undesirability

June 12, 2019 by Ian Wishart

The European Union said it’s ready for the U.K. to leave the bloc without a deal and isn’t planning any further contingency measures.

In a progress report on its no-deal Brexit planning, the European Commission said Britain departing without an agreement “remains a possible, although undesirable, outcome.”

The report was published in Brussels as Boris Johnson, the favorite to become next U.K. prime minister, launched his leadership campaign in London, saying that while he wasn’t aiming for a no-deal Brexit, he would make sure the U.K. would leave on Oct. 31.

The EU considers the Brexit deal, negotiated over 18 months, to be complete and not open to renegotiation. Departing Prime Minister Theresa May tried and failed three times to convince Parliament to approve it. The EU no-deal preparations are mainly unilateral measures. The bloc refuses to enter into “mini-deals” with the U.K. to help make no-deal Brexit easier.

The EU said that while financial-services firms have made significant progress in contingency planning some insurance companies were insufficiently prepared. They should finalize measures by Oct. 31, the commission said.

The EU is “well prepared for any kind of situation and no-deal eventuality,” European economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici told reporters in Brussels. “No deal is not what we wish for, but still it’s a possibility.”