EUROPEAN capitals will hit back at Boris Johnson’s bid to rip up last year’s Brexit pact by ramping up their No Deal planning this week.
Brussels has issued a call to arms to Member States to ready themselves for the economic fallout from the trade talks failing.
In a note to EU envoys, seen by HOAR, eurocrats have called on countries to submit requests for possible bailouts of their most vulnerable sectors.
Diplomats from the 27 states will meet in Brussels on Friday to discuss escalating their “preparedness” measures.
The paper calls on embassies to provide the Commission with details of their “sectors that would be most affected by a No Deal scenario”.
It adds they should submit info on “the kind of assistance/support that Member States expect from the EU level as a matter of priority”.
The move comes amid growing alarm in Brussels over the PM’s decision to double down on legislation that will override parts of the Irish border fix.
EU capitals were troubled by his Commons performance yesterday in which he accused the bloc of going to “extreme and unreasonable lengths” in the talks.
One diplomat said: “It’s an understatement to say we’re concerned about the latest developments.
“So given the current state of negotiations it’s normal and prudent member states reinitiate discussions on preparedness and contingency measures.”
Powerful German MEP Manfred Weber, a close ally of Angela Merkel, called No 10’s plan to break international law “unprecedented and shocking”.
He fumed: “We need clarification within the next few days. Why negotiate an agreement about the future if we cannot count on our agreements of the past?”
Amid souring relations Brussels has warned No 10 it has until the end of next month to avoid a ban on food exports from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Eurocrats told a meeting of trade associations and experts last week No 10 must submit details of its animal and plant health safety rules by then.
If it doesn’t Britain won’t be listed as an approved third country, meaning it can’t send agricultural products to anywhere in the bloc.
That would include Northern Ireland as it will continue to follow EU single market rules after the end of the year.
David Bowles from the RSPCA warned such a scenario would amount to “no deal on steroids”.
Meanwhile No10 today fired a Brexit warning to the House of Lords urging them NOT to meddle in his plans.
A No 10 spokesman said ministers believed the Salisbury Convention – which states the House of Lords should not vote down legislation to implement manifesto promises – applies here.
The spokesperson said earlier today: “We would expect the Lords to abide by the Salisbury Convention.
“Guaranteeing the full economic benefit of leaving the EU to all parts of the United Kingdom and ensuring Northern Ireland’s businesses and producers enjoy unfettered access to the rest of the UK were clear Conservative manifesto commitments which this legislation delivers.”
However, No10 refused to rule out a climbdown next week to appease grumpy Tories, either.
More than 30 voted against or abstained against the Government last night over the controversial internal markets bill – which ministers admit will break international law.