French Preparation For A 'No Deal' Brexit

Author:Ms Marie-Agnès Guillemare-Grilo
Profession:Hogan Lovells

Following a referendum on 23 June, 2016 in which British citizens voted to leave the European Union (EU), the UK initiated the EU withdrawal procedure under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and is currently scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March, 2019.

This decision has generated legal and economic uncertainty for EU Member States and there have been lengthy negotiations between the UK and the EU since Article 50 was invoked.

An agreement was reached between the UK and the EU on 25 November, 2018 but it was rejected on 15 January, 2019 by the UK Parliament. France, meanwhile, has prepared a legal framework to deal with the possibility of a "no deal Brexit".

On 3 October, 2018, the French government presented a bill authorizing the government to take the necessary measures in a wide variety of areas including the following:

the right of entry and residence of British citizens in France, to prevent a British citizen living in France from finding themselves in an unregulated situation on 30 March, 2019; allowing British citizens who have undertaken a salaried professional activity in France to continue their activity; the transport of passengers and goods between the UK and the EU; recognition of contributions to the British pension plan paid by French citizens; mutual recognition of diplomas held by British and French citizens; the access of French entities to the interbank payment and settlement systems of third countries, including the UK as of the date of its withdrawal. It would be sensible, where appropriate, to make certain British payment systems (CLS, CHAPS and CREST) benefit from the protections provided under the Settlement Finality Directive of 19 May, 1998; and the continuity of contracts: in the absence of an agreement, UK financial sector institutions would become third country companies and thus lose their European passport. They would no longer be allowed to provide new banking and financial services in the EU. The draft law provides for the possibility of taking measures to ensure the continuity and the proper execution of contracts in progress. The...

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