UK out of EU
13 March 2019

France is continuing its preparations for a no-deal Brexit

On Tuesday 12 March 2019, the British Parliament once again rejected the agreement concluded between the European Union (EU) and London, this time by 391 votes to 242. The prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March is therefore still on the cards.
France regrets this vote. For the second time, the British Government has not succeeded in getting a majority to support the withdrawal agreement negotiated between the United Kingdom and the EU last November.

After the EU provided further assurances to the United Kingdom in December, January and March, we have arrived at the end of the negotiations on withdrawal conditions. The solution to the present impasse can only be found in London.

As the EU has repeatedly made clear, the withdrawal agreement is not renegotiable. This is above all true as regards the backstop, which aims to ensure that there will be no physical border in Ireland while preserving the integrity of the Single Market.

With Brexit due to take place in 17 days, France and its EU partners are continuing their preparations for a no-deal UK exit on 29 March.

Reinforced customs

Whatever the final Brexit scenario, the Government is unwavering in its determination to be ready for it on 29 March, taking unprecedented measures to prepare customs services, including recruitment of 700 extra officers.

A 14 million-euro budget has been provided for in order to increase customs officers' pay – a strong measure to improve their working conditions and purchasing power. The budget will be entirely funded by savings made within the Ministry, without involving any staff cuts.