EU Internal Policy

EU accepts Brexit talks could BREAK DOWN and starts contingency planning

BRUSSELS has started taking steps to ensure contingency plans are in place in case Brexit talks collapse without agreement.

The European Union’s negotiating team under Michel Barnier has officially refused to contemplate a ‘no-deal’ Brexit insisting Britain must pay a massive ‘divorce settlement’ to the EU of around €90BILLION.Britain will then essentially be told what it can and cannot do if it wants to continue to trade with EU nations.

But the tough-talk was exposed as a bluff today after it emerged EU department heads are already putting contingency plans in place for the moment Britain walks away without a deal.

MEPs want to amend laws governing the EU’s carbon emissions trading system fearing a sudden British exit could wreak havoc on the European Union’s carbon market.

Officials believe the measures are needed as a safeguard against a situation where UK companies, suddenly liberated from having to hold emissions allowances under the EU scheme, would quickly move to sell them.


Britain could walk away from the EU with ‘no deal’

Michel Barnier has been talking tough but is it all a bluff?

Unfortunately we need to take care about what happens if there is a hard Brexit

Peter Liese

They fear this could destroy the entire system set up to regulate how much CO2 different polluting industries can emit.Peter Liese, one of the MEPs behind the initiative, told the Financial Times: “We hope for an agreement on Brexit but unfortunately we need to take care about what happens if there is a hard Brexit.”

He said the amendment would help cater for a “no deal” scenario in the Brexit negotiations, as well as any other scenario in which post-Brexit UK chooses to leave the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The ETS is the world’s biggest emissions trading market, accounting for more than three-quarters of international carbon trading.

European ParliamentGETTY

The European Parliament has begun making Brexit contingency plans

Launched in 2005, it limits the volume of greenhouse gases emitted by power plants, heavy industry, and the aviation sector, and then allows companies to trade emissions allowances on an open market.Each allowance gives the holder the right to emit one tonne of CO2. The system also covers nitrous oxide and perfluorocarbons – powerful greenhouse gasses emitted during the production of aluminum.

The amendment, drafted by MEPs to automatically void emissions allowances issued in a country that is exiting the ETS, will be voted on by the parliament on Wednesday and would apply to allowances issued from January 2018 onwards.

Mr Liese said: “People still hope that Britain stays in the ETS after Brexit — the UK has very much supported the initiative over the years.

David DavisGETTY

David Davis is leading the Brexit talks for Britain

“But if Britain does leave we need to take care that there is no undue advantage to the UK and no undue disadvantage to the rest of Europe.”A UK Government spokesman said: “While we are currently considering all options around our relationship with the EU ETS, the outcome is subject to negotiations

“We recognise that to plan effectively, scheme participants will want an early understanding of the terms of the future UK-EU partnership and how it might affect the EU ETS.

“This is why we believe it is necessary to agree our future partnership alongside our

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