On 12 June 2019 the European Commission published its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication giving its own assessment of the measures that it had taken to prepare for a possible "no-deal" Brexit. The context of the update is the forthcoming European Council Summit on 20- 21 June 2019.
The Commission reported that it had tabled 19 legislative proposals, 18 of which had been adopted by the European Parliament and Council, with the 19th proposal - the contingency Regulation on the EU budget for 2019 - expected to be adopted later in June 2019. The Commission also reported that it had adopted 63 non-legislative acts and published 93 preparedness notices. The Commission has concluded that , notwithstanding the deferral of the Brexit "exit date" to 31 October 2019 (11pm UK time), there is no need to revise these measures and that they remain "fit for purpose" and accordingly that the Commission does not plan any new measures ahead of the new withdrawal date.
The European Commission press release , which accompanied its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication, recalls that "it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to prepare for all scenarios" and goes on to remind readers that , as outlined by European Commission President Juncker in the European Parliament on 3 April 2019, the UK would be expected to "address three main separation issues" as a precondition before the EU would consider embarking on discussions about the future relationship between the EU and the UK. These are , firstly, protecting citizens' rights who have exercised their right to free movement prior to Brexit; secondly, fulfilling the UK's financial obligations as a former EU member State; and thirdly, preserving the Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland and the integrity of the single market.
The Communication highlights areas where "continued and particular vigilance" is needed over the coming months to prepare for a "no-deal " Brexit . These include:- citizens' residence and social security entitlements; medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances; customs, indirect taxation and border inspection posts; transport; fishing activities; and financial services.
On the same day as the publication of its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication, the Commission issued a press release on progress being made "to deepen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union" and called on EU member states to take further concrete steps towards that objective.
From an EU perspective, the UK appears to be embarking on a lonely road away from the heart of Europe. The UK itself still seems bitterly divided on that point. How the current impasse will resolve itself will depend on the willingness of politicians and the constituencies they serve to reach out for solutions.