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article imageFrance activates plan for no-deal Brexit: PM

By AFP     Jan 17, 2019 in World

The French government has activated its plans for handling the effects of a no-deal Brexit, which has become "less and less unlikely", Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday.

Speaking after a ministerial meeting called to discuss the British parliament's rejection of the divorce deal negotiated with the EU, Philippe said: "I have taken the decision to activate the plan for a no-deal Brexit."

The plan provides for 50 million euros ($56 million) of investment in French ports and airports, "which are obviously the places most affected by the changes needed" in the event of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

"In some ports that will be the construction of car parks, in others it will be the establishment of infrastructure for carrying out checks," Philippe said.

France had already planned on recruiting extra customs staff and veterinary inspectors.

The French parliament is on Thursday expected to complete the adoption of a bill allowing the government to take decisions by decree if necessary following a no-deal Brexit, which could create potentially chaotic scenes on both sides of the Channel.

"We want to be ready to protect the interests of our citizens," Philippe said.

"Our objective is at the same time to respect our obligations, to make sure that the lives of our citizens and, in a way, British citizens living in France, are impacted as little as possible," he added.

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