EU states are stepping up preparations for the failed agreement after the May defeat Policy

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The capitals of the European Union were accelerating the preparations to minimize the chaos and the interruption of a possible Brexit without agreement after Theresa May's plan had been crushed by parliamentarians.

With 72 days before the UK leaves the EU, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel met government ministers on Tuesday to discuss their main priorities for a package of emergency Brexit laws that he intends to present to parliament before end of February.

The Belgian government has declared to businesses and citizens that a Brexit without agreement could lead to the imposition of up to 2.2 billion euros (1.96 billion pounds) of extra tariffs on goods and the loss of over 40,000 jobs.

In France, which has already approved its contingency legislation without agreement, the European minister, Nathalie Loiseau, has pointed out that no further concessions can be expected from the bloc.

"It is up to the British parliament and the British government to have a reserve plan in the event," Loiseau told reporters at the European Parliament in Brussels. "It no longer depends on us – we have given everything we can give".

This week the Spanish government has launched an online information service for citizens and businesses, including advice on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. He also drafted a decree allowing him to issue contingency provisions without a contract drawn up by the European Commission.

In a statement released shortly after Tuesday's House of Commons vote, the Spanish government regretted the May defeat and warned that an exit without agreement would have negative consequences for the EU but would be "catastrophic" "for the United Kingdom. "The agreement is the best possible," he said.

Last month the EU executive unveiled plans to keep airplanes in the air and cash flow in the event of an incident in the UK, saying he would take all necessary steps to limit the consequences of the ensuing disruption of his airplanes members.

A nine-month temporary regime would allow UK airlines to fly to the mainland and return (but not between EU cities), EU banks to cancel transactions in the City of London, British trucks to deliver goods in the EU and important data to be shared. The block can unilaterally resolve this regime.

British immigrants protest against Brexit in Berlin.



The British expatriates protest against Brexit in Berlin. The EU has urged Member States to be generous in protecting the rights of their 1.3 million British citizens. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images

The executive arm of the EU has urged governments to be generous in protecting basic rights for the 1.3 million Britons living in member states by granting temporary residence permits while resolving their long-term status.

Several countries, including the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and the Czech Republic, have done so, with others – including Austria and Sweden – who announced this week that they were planning to run through similar measures as part of the omnibus laws.

Preparations without agreements are more advanced in the Member States that would be the most severely affected, such as Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. Last month, Dublin published its non-agreement plans, admitting that they were in the best of "a damage limitation exercise", and on Tuesday presented a 17-part law, omnibus to speed up contingency laws without agreements on everything from health to taxes and justice.

Like most of the EU countries that trade extensively with the UK, Ireland is recruiting additional staff – 1,000 in its case – for customs controls, health and plant health checks and export certification. It is also buying land near Dublin and Rosslare ports for border inspection bays, truck parking lots and offices.

Last month, Paris passed legislation that prohibited the passage of people and goods between France and Britain and allows the government to approve emergency laws by decree if necessary to "stabilize" the issues of travel, residence, work and well-being for British citizens in France.

The French authorities are employing 700 customs attachments, expanding border control infrastructures, such as checkpoints, roads and parking lots for trucks, and building new warehouses in Calais, Cherbourg and the entrance to the Channel Tunnel.

Germany is taking another 900 customs officials to help ensure the smooth passage of goods and has passed laws guaranteeing a limited number of financial products in euros – including insurance – will be covered by the current EU passport regime in case of failure to agree.

The Netherlands, which is home to Europe's largest port in Rotterdam, intends to hire more than 900 extra customs officials by the end of the year – one third of which Britain plans to leave the EU March 29 – and 150 veterinarians and other scientists for controls on food, plant and animal products.

Together with the Belgians, the French and the Danish, the Dutch have launched Brexit impact assessment plans that allow companies to analyze their specific non-business risks based on the business sector and relations with the UK.

The Irish and Dutch governments are so concerned about the possible impact on companies that are offering money and vouchers to companies with a particular exposure to the UK, both to pay for specialist advice and to help them look for new markets.

Sweden has identified a dozen sectors in which the consequences of a Brexit without agreement could be "immediate and serious", said last week the EU minister, Ann Linde.

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