How France is preparing to Brexit hard

The spectre of a fatal exit of the Uk from the european Union has never been so present. The effects may prove to be heavy for the economies of british and, by

How France is preparing to Brexit hard

The spectre of a fatal exit of the Uk from the european Union has never been so present. The effects may prove to be heavy for the economies of british and, by extension, French. After the rejection of the agreement on the Brexit by the british parliament, the French government announced on Thursday a series of measures designed to safeguard the interests of the French in the event of a Brexit, without agreement at the end of march. "France is preparing and will be ready to a lack of agreement in the United Kingdom on the Brexit, had assured the day before Nathalie Loiseau, the minister in charge of european affairs. But concretely, how and at what point are we ready?

"READ ALSO: Growth, unemployment, activity: the serious consequences of "Brexit" without agreement

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• customs additional

In case of "hard Brexit", the borders would be so completely restored as from the march 30, 2019, which would imply the return of the customs formalities and controls of goods and passengers. To counter this possibility, the State has plans to recruit 580 additional officers who will be assigned to customs checks and veterinary and concentrated in the regions most concerned, foremost of which are the Hauts-de-France. In Calais, for example, in the entourage of the mayor LR Nathalie Bouchard it says "now be still far from the account". A lot of elements still need to be trained.

• guides for businesses

While the 30,000 French companies export to the United Kingdom and more than 3000 are installed there, the French State has set up the information website "Brexit in practice", in order to anticipate the potential logistical issues and trade. "Big business and the financial sector are loans, guarantees Agnès Pannier-Runacher, State secretary to the minister of Economy and Finance. On the other hand many SMES are not yet and need to study their supply, take into account a slowdown in the movement of capital, people, services and products".

The president of the Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, is less optimistic. "The reality is that companies are not ready, because we may not be ready for a paradigm shift as violent", he estimated Friday on LCI. "It's been thirty years since we made the trade with Britain freely, (...) so it's going to be chaos for several weeks, do not be mistaken, it's going to be very, very, very difficult", he predicted. The employers 'organisation has asked its members to examine the consequences of "Brexit" no agreement for their business in terms of logistics, legal, tax, customs, data transfer and certification. "A guide and a point of contact" has been made available on a site named

In the region of the Hauts-de-France, border with the United Kingdom, "since the beginning of the year the Customs services have regular meetings with the heads of business that export and import with England and explain what will happen", told the Figaro the president of the Chamber of commerce and industry, Coastline, Hauts-de-France, François Lavallée.

• zones of control of the goods

The back of the border with the Uk would also result in traffic jams at the crossings. In this respect, the French ports, such as Dunkirk or Calais, are at the forefront. Every day 1100 trucks cross the Channel in the direction of the United Kingdom. The president of the Hauts-de-France, Xavier Bertrand, had made the calculation: "two minutes of customs control by vehicle, it is 27 miles from cork on the English side at Dover and on the French side in Calais".

To avoid such a bottleneck that could impair their competitiveness, the French ports like Dunkirk and Calais anticipate. The Port of Boulogne-Calais, for example, is going to build a physical zone dedicated to the statements documentaries, which can accommodate 200 trucks and another control area for live animals and health services. To ease the traffic, a system of customs declarations, cloud is going to be put in place. "During his time at the port, a link will be made between the license plate of the vehicle and the customs documents to the cloud" says one at the port of Boulogne-Calais, where the amount of the whole of these facilities is estimated at 6 million euros.

In Calais, always, a control zone is provided on the same site of the tunnel under the English Channel. To be ready by the end of march, Eurotunnel will begin work to put in place temporary facilities, without yet knowing the real needs of the veterinary services or customs. "An area of land reserve of the State will be integrated in the terminal. The bill will be several million euros", says France Bleu Nord.

Thursday, the prime minister announced that a fund of approximately 50 million euros of investment would be quickly unlocked to enable us to tailor the ports and airports which exchanged goods or nationals with the Britain.

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• A clause "Brexit" on some plane tickets

Some companies, like Ryanair, will include a clause "Brexit" in their sales of tickets to the summer of 2019. It will be their undoing if agreements on the issue of the aviation regulations are not signed. The tour operator Thomas Cook, has also been included since last October, this clause in its flight tickets to April 2019.

• Legislate by ordinances

A law was enacted, empowering the government to take by decree the measures of preparation for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of the european Union, expected to enable us to cope with all eventualities, including a "Brexit" without agreement. This text, prepared in Paris is designed in particular to protect the French people having lived in the Uk and returning to France, as well as the British are in France, so that they do not find themselves suddenly in an irregular situation. It specifies the social rights applicable to each. The recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications, the validation of the rights to unemployment and retirement are particularly concerned. The text also considers the issue of possible controls on goods and passengers to and from the United Kingdom, as well as veterinary examinations and phytosanitaires and supervision of road transport of goods or persons on the French territory, by persons established in the United Kingdom.

A first order, which governs the rights of british citizens in France, will be voted on Wednesday, January 23. And then "the other four in the three coming weeks", according to prime minister Édouard Philippe. They concern the customs infrastructure, road transport, or certain financial transactions.

• The banking sector will ensure "continuity of service"

The French banks say they are preparing for two years for different scenarios of exit of the Uk from the european Union. In a statement, the French banking Federation (FBF) said on Wednesday that the "implementation" by the establishment of the "work that is necessary to ensure, in all cases, the continuity of services for all of their customers who would be affected". But without more details.

Updated Date: 20 January 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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