What are the EU’s contingency plans to mitigate a no-deal Brexit?

Deal or no deal, the European Union expects "disruption" on January 1 – but the bloc has set out a series of measures to reduce the impact if there is no trade agreement with the UK.

The UK will leave the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year, and without a comprehensive deal there could be major disruption to trade.

But after crunch talks on Wednesday evening failed to make a breakthrough, Brussels has stepped up its preparations and published proposals for emergency agreements.

Here is a look at the suggestions, which are all subject to the application of fair competition rules.

– Fisheries

Fishing rights have been one of the main stumbling blocks in the negotiations, but under the EU's proposals its fishing boats would continue to enjoy access to UK waters during 2021.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) is welcomed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (R) in the Berlaymont building at the EU headquarters in Brussels on December 9, 2020, prior to a post-Brexit talks' working dinner. - Britain's Prime Minister arrives in Brussels on December 9, 2020, with hopes for a post-Brexit trade deal hanging on crisis talks with EU chief. Talks are blocked over the issue of fair competition, with Britain refusing to accept a mechanism that would allow the EU to respond swiftly if UK and EU business rules diverge over time and put European firms at a disadvantage. (Photo by Olivier HOSLET / POOL / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER HOSLET/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves in a car after a post-Brexit talks' working dinner at the EU headquarters on December 9, 2020 in Brussels. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met EU chief Ursula von der Leyen for a working dinner that could save -- or kill off -- hopes for a post-Brexit trade deal. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for a dinner during which they will try to reach a breakthrough on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The British prime minister's visit marked his most high-profile involvement in the talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, which has remained elusive despite months of EU and UK negotiating teams shuttling between London and Brussels. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen meet for a dinner during they will try to reach a breakthrough on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The British prime minister's visit marked his most high-profile involvement in the talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, which has remained elusive despite months of EU and UK negotiating teams shuttling between London and Brussels. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Three men in disguise wait in front the Berlaymont building at the EU headquarters in Brussels to protest as Britain's Prime Minister arrives prior to a post-Brexit talks' working dinneron December 9, 2020. - EU chief Ursula von der Leyen welcomed Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson to her headquarters in Brussels on December 9, 2020, for talks on saving post-Brexit trade negotiations. At Johnson's suggestion, he and von der Leyen removed their anti-Covid facemasks briefly and posed for photographers at the Berlaymont building before heading in for a working dinner. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) leaves the official residence of the British ambassador to the United Kingdom in Brussels on December 9, 2020, prior to a post-Brexit talks' working dinner. - Britain's Prime Minister arrives in Brussels on December 9, 2020, with hopes for a post-Brexit trade deal hanging on crisis talks with EU chief. Talks are blocked over the issue of fair competition, with Britain refusing to accept a mechanism that would allow the EU to respond swiftly if UK and EU business rules diverge over time and put European firms at a disadvantage. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (R) meet on trade deals in Brussels, Belgium on December 09, 2020. (Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Pool/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This picture taken on December 9, 2020, shows the Berlaymont building at the EU headquarters in Brussels as Britain's Prime Minister and European Commission President meet for a post-Brexit talks' working dinner. - EU chief Ursula von der Leyen welcomed Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson to her headquarters in Brussels on December 9, 2020, for talks on saving post-Brexit trade negotiations. At Johnson's suggestion, he and von der Leyen removed their anti-Covid facemasks briefly and posed for photographers at the Berlaymont building before heading in for a working dinner. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen meet for a dinner during they will try to reach a breakthrough on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The British prime minister's visit marked his most high-profile involvement in the talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, which has remained elusive despite months of EU and UK negotiating teams shuttling between London and Brussels. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen meet for a dinner during they will try to reach a breakthrough on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The British prime minister's visit marked his most high-profile involvement in the talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, which has remained elusive despite months of EU and UK negotiating teams shuttling between London and Brussels. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen meet for a dinner during they will try to reach a breakthrough on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The British prime minister's visit marked his most high-profile involvement in the talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, which has remained elusive despite months of EU and UK negotiating teams shuttling between London and Brussels. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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The bloc says the measures could stay in place until December 31 2021, or until a fisheries agreement with the UK has been concluded – whichever is earlier.

It says that reciprocal access to each other's waters is needed to guarantee the sustainability of fisheries and the livelihoods of those who depend upon them.

– Roads and rail

Without an agreement on the future partnership, there would be "serious disruptions" to road freight transport which could threaten public order, the commission believes.

Lorries queuing on the A20 near Dover in Kent
Lorries queuing on the A20 near Dover in Kent (Aaron Chown/PA)

Therefore it is proposing that basic connectivity for road freight and passenger transport continue for six months – if the UK confers equivalent rights to EU haulage operators.

The measures proposed would also ensure the Channel Tunnel can continue to operate after January 1 until other arrangements have been put in place.

– Aviation

Air traffic will be "interrupted" if there are no contingency measures in place on air transport at the end of the transition period, the commission says.

A plane
The EU has proposed a number of measures (John Walton/PA)

It has proposed a measure to allow the provision of certain air services between the UK and EU for six months.

It would allow air carriers from the UK to fly across the bloc without landing, make stops for non-traffic purposes and perform scheduled and non-scheduled international passenger and cargo services between points in the United Kingdom and points in the EU.

The commission has also proposed measures to ensure various safety certificates for products can continue to be used in EU aircraft – stopping the grounding of planes.

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