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Government starts discussing Latvia’s readiness for Brexit, worst scenario included

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian ministries’ readiness for the moment when Britain exits the EU differ, Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs told journalists after a government meeting on Tuesday, 13 November.

Ministers met on Tuesday to discuss Foreign Affairs Ministry’s report on possible Brexit consequences.

According to Rinkēvičs, the report mentioned information on ministers’ readiness for the worst possible Brexit scenario: if no agreement between EU and Britain is reached or if this agreement is not ratified. «Readiness for Brexit varies among ministries. We have noticed different stances on this matter,» said the minister.

Readiness for Brexit also differs among businessmen. Rinkēvičs said some businessmen believe nothing will change much after Brexit and they will be able to continue working as usual – without tariffs and customs fees. At the same time, there are sectors that have begun preparing for force majeure situations.

«Because Britain is set to leave EU before 30 March 2019, I want to believe we and the Saeima will be able to make important decisions and do it quickly,» said the minister.

He said the report to the government included several opinions on Brexit. First of all, once the agreement on Brexit becomes known, ministries will have to work extra hard on necessary law amendments.

Secondly, it will be necessary to think about allocating additional resources to a number of state institutions – from Food and Veterinary Service to customs and certification institutions. As an example Rinkēvičs mentioned the necessary changes to re-certification procedures after Brexit.

It is also necessary to consider ICT systems’ adaptation, as well as expected changes with air traffic and a number of other fields.

The Foreign Affairs Minister added that worries will not end even if an agreement is reached on Brexit, because what follows after is a long ratification process.

As previously reported, in protest of a ‘terrible mistake’ made in the Brexit agreement, British Transport Minister Jo Johnson has stepped down. He has voiced a proposal to organize repeated referendum on Brexit.

«It has become increasingly clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being finalised in Brussels and Whitehall even as I write, will be a terrible mistake,» said Jo Johnson, brother to Britain’s now former Foreign Affairs Minister Boris Johnson.

Jo Johnson stressed it is necessary to ask citizens for their opinion again to see if they still want to exit EU. If they do, we should look if they like Theresa May’s proposed agreement or not.

In the 2016 referendum Jo Johnson was in favour of Britain remaining in the EU, whereas his brother Boris was one of the most active Brexit supporters.

The expected Brexit agreement states that Britain is to pay approximately EUR 45 billion when the country exits from EU. The agreement also guarantees citizens’ rights and provides for a 21 month long transition period.


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