Brexit: Portuguese government approves new ‘no deal’ contingency measures

The Council of Ministers has approved additional ‘measures of contingency’ for a no-deal Brexit.

With confusion mounting in UK over what is actually happening – and whether it’s even legal anymore – the Portuguese government has decided the best way forward is to prepare for the worst.

Head of diplomacy Augusto Santos Silva explained what will be happening last night.

“Our concern”, he told journalists, “is more in the capacity to cope. If you were to ask me if we have the conditions to the end of 2020 to attend all requests from all our nationals relating to their situation in the United Kingdom, I would say ‘yes’”.

The new measures essentially extend to December 31 2020 the rights of businesses based in UK to operate in Portugal as they do now.

Without these tweaks to the contingency plans announced in January (click here), businesses based in UK could suddenly find themselves being viewed as ‘outsiders’ (from the bloc) and hammered with new tariffs.

The Portuguese government’s ‘draft law’ (which will need President Marcelo’s rubber stamp) seeks to assure all financial contracts, including those regarding employees, till the start of 2021.

And to ensure the 3,871 businesses that export to UK know exactly where they stand – and what they can do to help themselves – government departments will be ‘contacting them, one by one, from next week’, he stressed.

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