Currently, Mrs May is using the spectre of a “no deal” Brexit as a cudgel to batter MPs of all persuasions that the only way to avert it is to back her deal. Of course, this is plainly untrue since the ECJ confirmed that the UK can unilaterally withdraw Article 50 notice and remain in the EU on current terms. Whilst she clings on to power, her raison d’être is to “deliver on Brexit” which is why she is resisting a second referendum currently and why she is trying to force “her” deal through. Many openly doubt that a UK government would unleash “no deal” on the public, if it still had options, but the EU is forced to go along with the charade.
The EU has published a raft of 14 measures intended to mitigate against a hard Brexit in key areas including finance and transport covering eight sectors. They are intended to provide a stop-gap of continuity if the UK crashes out of the EU in 100 days.
The measures include a 12-month permission for UK based aviation to fly into (and over) European airspace, but will no longer permit it to fly within the EU (i.e. between two EU states); haulage companies would be granted nine months of continued operation before being requires to apply for (very scarce) permits; partial recognition of UK financial services would continue for one or two years.
The EU made it plain that the contingency plans are to be time limited and can be terminated by them without consulting the UK.
A hard Brexit would immediately impose delays on the transport due to the application of customs duties and all livestock would have to be inspected. The facility of a UK based carrier to fly between EU airports (e.g. from Brussels to Vienna) would cease to be a guaranteed right. Financial passporting from the UK to the rest of the EU would be terminated on a hard Brexit and other passports of a more sentimental value (pet passports) would no longer be valid. This would mean travellers would either have to leave their pets in the UK or put them through quarantine in the EU (and probably UK upon return).
The “meaningful vote” which will either endorse or reject May’s deal that was postponed on 11th December 2018 is now set to take place in the week of 14 January 2019.