European Commission publishes advice on preparing for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.


The European Commission has today adopted a Communication outlining the ongoing work on the preparation for all outcomes of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

On 30 March 2019, the United Kingdom will leave the EU and become a third country.  This will have repercussions for citizens, businesses and administrations in both the United Kingdom and the EU.  These repercussions range from new controls at the EU's outer border with the UK, to the validity of UK-issued licences, certificates and authorisations and to different rules for data transfers.

Today's text calls on all Member States and private parties to step up preparations and follows a request by the European Council (Article 50) last month to intensify preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes.

While the EU is working towards a deal that ensures an orderly withdrawal, Brexit will undoubtedly cause disruption - whether or not there is a deal.  It is not certain that there will be a ratified withdrawal agreement in place - nor if there is an agreement what it will entail.

EU institutions, Member States and private parties must prepare for the UK's withdrawal.   This is not solely the responsibility of the EU institutions, rather it is a joint effort at EU, national and regional levels, and also includes in particular economic operators and other private parties.

Everyone must now step up preparations for multiple scenarios - and take responsibility for their specific situation.  Stakeholders, as well as national and EU authorities, therefore need to prepare for two main scenarios:

If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before 30 March 2019, EU law will cease to apply to and in the UK on 1 January 2021, i.e. after a transition period of 21 months.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified before 30 March 2019, there will be no transition period and EU law will cease to apply to and in the UK as of 30 March 2019. This is referred to as the "no deal" or "cliff-edge" scenario.

The European Commission has screened the entire EU body of law to examine whether any changes are needed in light of the UK's withdrawal. 

The Commission has adopted (and will adopt whenever necessary) specific, targeted legislative proposals to ensure that EU rules continue to function smoothly in a Union of 27 Member States after the UK's withdrawal.

For instance, before 30 March 2019 the two London-based agencies – the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority – as well as other UK-based bodies, like the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre, will relocate from the UK - and a other tasks performed by UK authorities will be reassigned away from the UK.

The Commission has also published over 60 sector-specific preparedness notices to inform the public about the consequences of the UK's withdrawal in the absence of any withdrawal agreement.

Brexit Partners are continually monitoring and assessing the impact of scenarios on institutions, government, business and citizens.  Today’s European Commission initiative adds weight a ‘call to arms’ for businesses and citizens who are not fully engaged in modelling and responding to Brexit.

For further details on the EC Statement and any of the listed Factsheets, please contact Brexit Partners



1 Industrial products

2 Pharmaceuticals (human/veterinary)

3 Plant protection products

4 Biocides

5 Automotive vehicles

6 Agricultural and forestry vehicles, two- or three-wheeled vehicles and quadricycles, non-road mobile machinery

7 Industrial chemicals (REACH) (published by ECHA)

8 Ecolabel

9 Waste (other than shipment licenses)  FOOD, FEED, LIVE ANIMALS, PLANTS

10 Food and organic production

11 Animal feed

12 GMOs

13 Natural mineral waters

14 Plant reproductive material

15 Animal breeding/zootechnics

16 Animal health

17 Plant health 


18 Rules of origin

19 Customs and VAT

20 Import/export licences

21 Specimen of endangered species (CITES) (import and export)

22 Timber import

23 Customs enforcement of intellectual property rights 


24 Statutory audit

25 Credit rating agencies

26 Asset management

27 Post-trade services

28 Investment services

29 Banking and payment services

30 (Re)insurance

31 Occupational retirement institutions


32 Personal data protection

33 Company law

34 Private international law 

35 Consumer protection and passenger rights 


36 Trademarks and community designs

37 Plant varieties

38 Copyright

39 Supplementary protection certificate


40 Professional qualifications

41 Qualifications of slaughterhouse staff

42 Qualifications of animal transporters

43 Qualifications of seafarers 


44 Air transport (access)

45 Aviation safety

46 Aviation and maritime security

47 Road transport

48 Maritime transport (access and safety)

49 Rail transport

50 Inland waterway transport 


51 .eu top level domain names

52 E-commerce (information society services)

53 Telecommunication

54 Audio-visual media services 

55 eIDAS/trust services

56 Network security

57 Geoblocking 


58 Euratom-related matters

59 Electricity and gas market

60 Guarantees of origin 


61 Substances of human origin

62 Public procurement

63 EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

64 Ship recycling

65 European Citizens’ Initiative

66 Fishery's acquis

67 European Works Councils

68 Industrial security (EUCI)