A joint meeting was held between the North Sea Commission Brexit Task Force and the Atlantic Arc Commission Brexit Task Force on November 28 in Brussels with about 40 participants. A presentation on the proposed agreement and possible future scenarios was given, as well as contributions from member regions on Brexit adaption.
Brexit agreement update and possible scenarios
The meeting started with a welcome and introduction by the Chair of the NSC Task Force, Cllr. Michiel Rijsberman, Region Flevoland and the coordinator of the AAC Task Force, General Director Jesús Gamallo Aller, Xunta de Galicia. The meeting continued with a presentation from Larissa Brunner, Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre on the current proposed agreement and possible future scenarios. She presented the ongoing process as well as different scenarios and options if the proposal is rejected by the UK parliament on December 11. Brunner concluded that another referendum would be bad for the parliamentary democracy and probably wouldn’t make positions clearer, rather leave more people unhappy. She also pointed out that there are two types of “no deal-Brexit”, one with so called mini-deals to limit the damages, and one without the mini-deals which would lead to immediate and detrimental consequences.
Contributions from member regions
The participating regions were invited to ask questions and discuss preparations for a no-deal scenario. Participants agreed that more preparation is needed, but that it is hard to prepare until there is more clarity on what the final deal will mean. Small and medium-sized companies who lack experience of trade outside the EU will be most vulnerable to a no-deal and might need support from the regions. A conclusion is that it is important for regions within as well as outside the UK to keep good communication and collaboration on a regional level to handle the changes. Participants agreed that a joint meeting between the two commissions was productive and a date for a joint follow–up meeting will be set after the vote in the UK Parliament.