EU sets up working group to prepare for no-deal Brexit, leaked papers show

PUBLISHED: 17:31 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:38 01 December 2017

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

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The EU has set up a working group to prepare for Britain crashing out without a deal, leaked papers seen by a German newspaper show.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is reporting that it has seen papers showing that the European Commission has set up the group reporting directly its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to prepare the EU for Britain leaving the bloc in March 2019 without any trade deal.

It says that the Secretariat-General of the Commission has begun work on a "road map" for all EU policies, from customs to air transport to fisheries, to prepare the EU for the "worst case", as Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier is quoted as saying in the documents.

The Brexit Preparedness Group, as it is called, is working on a number of post-Brexit scenarios in parallel to the Barnier-led Brexit negotiating group, including a Brexit without a deal on the terms of the divorce.

Mr Juncker will meet Theresa May on Monday to discuss the state of Brexit negotiations.

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