Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) on Friday announced Finland is set to start preparing for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit, in order to secure the right of residence of British citizens in Finland. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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THE MINISTERIAL Committee on European Union Affairs has agreed that Finland should draft a special act to prepare for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit.

Roughly 5,000 British citizens residing in Finland would currently have to apply for a new residence permit on short notice in the event that no agreement is found on the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The purpose of the special act is to allow such citizens to continue their right of residence in the country for a fixed term without any additional measures.

“The act would secure the right of residence of British citizens residing in Finland for a fixed period of time. The condition is that they have registered their right of residence in the EU,” tweeted Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).

The Finnish government stated in its press release that the act should be drawn up as soon as possible in order to ensure it can be implemented by the end of March.

The United Kingdom is to leave the 28-country bloc on Friday, 29 March 2019.

The European Commission has recommended that member states prepare for a no-deal withdrawal and, as a temporary solution, allow British citizens living in member states to continue their right of residence. Many member states have already heeded the advice and are taking temporary legislative measures to this effect, according to the Finnish government.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Transport and Communications announced it has launched preparations to ensure air traffic and road freight transport can continue also in the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit.

The preparations are based on proposals on regulations for air traffic, aviation safety and road freight transport adopted in December by the European Commission. The objective of the proposal on air traffic is to guarantee direct flights between member states and the UK, and overflights and technical stopovers in the territories of the EU and UK.

“Especially for a small and remote EU member state like Finland, it is important to be able to flexibly and bilaterally agree with third countries on air transport connections that are necessary in terms of connectivity,” reads a press release from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Road freight transport, meanwhile, would be secured by means of a temporary arrangement on bilateral carriage between the EU and UK, according to the proposals adopted by the European Commission.

The Finnish government considers it important that basic connectivity is guaranteed and disruptions are minimised in the absence of a no-deal withdrawal. The proposed regulations, it added, nonetheless should not affect the right of member states to enter into bilateral road transport agreements with third countries.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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