Measures moderating Brexit to be approved in March

The so-called lex Brexit will contain 23 provisions.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/SITA)

Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák expects the measures, which should temper the effects of Brexit, to be adopted by parliament this March.

The provisions, which should prepare Slovakia for a hard Brexit, have been recently discussed and approved by the government.

"There will be no legal vacuum since we will cover the basic needs of our citizens and our bilateral relations," said the foreign minister, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The so-called lex Brexit, which is expected to include 23 measures, should be put together as one bill by mid-February.

The UK will leave the European Union, with or without a deal, on March 29, Lajčák said. A hard Brexit is more likely as British PM Theresa May lacks the majority to support a Brexit deal, he added.

Read also:Brits living in Slovakia to have the same rights as EU citizens after Brexit Read more 

All in one

"We are ready to talk about a political declaration and future relations, but it does not change the fact that the day when the UK leaves with no deal is drawing near," Lajčák noted, as quoted by TASR.

Therefore, Lajčák wants to put together 23 measures with the help of all ministries by mid-February and then submit them to parliament.

"They concern the status of our citizens in Britain, their social rights, transport, economic cooperation and entrepreneurship, and cooperation in the areas of justice, security, defence, and foreign affairs," said the foreign minister, as quoted by TASR.

Responsible ministries are to prepare bills that will ensure that Brits will have the same social benefits and healthcare in Slovakia as they have had until now.

Is Slovakia ready for a hard Brexit?

However, non-affiliated MP Miroslav Beblavý, who chairs the Spolu party, thinks that the government is constantly underestimating the impacts of Brexit.

"The government is vague, and it has not proposed anything effective to support domestic economy," said Beblavý, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Nonetheless, PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) has pledged that the government will make an effort to draw new investors, just like the neighbouring countries.

Read also:Which companies in Slovakia does Brexit put in jeopardy? Read more 

"The government can create interesting conditions for investments and for the relocation of firms," said Pellegrini, as quoted by TASR.

Impacts of hard Brexit

Although Pellegrini has recently declared that Slovakia is ready for all Brexit scenarios, a hard Brexit could have the biggest impact on Slovakia out of all central and eastern European countries, the Pravda daily wrote.

"This vulnerability is a consequence of the relatively high GDP share of Slovak exports to the UK and the extreme openness of the Slovak economy," reads the published document, as quoted by Pravda.

Slovakia exported goods, mostly cars and components, worth roughly €4.5 billion to Britain in 2017. The UK is Slovakia's eighth biggest export market.

A hard Brexit will decelerate the Slovak economy in the long-term by 0.7 - 1.4 percent of the GDP, the Institute for Financial Policy, running under the Finance Ministry, calculated.

Furthermore, the structural shortfall in revenues of the state budget are expected to reach 0.2 to 0.5 percent of the GDP in the long term, Pravda wrote.

Because of this, the best scenario is the UK leaving the EU with a deal, Lajčák said.

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