The European Commission will publish its no-deal contingency plans in an attempt to mitigate the damage if the UK crashes out of the EU.

The European Commission has started implementing its no-deal Contingency Action Plan, covering 14 areas where UK withdrawal without a deal would create "major disruption for citizens and businesses" in the remaining 27 EU states, including financial services, air transport and customs.

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In a statement the European Commission said that, with 100 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29, it was now "essential and urgent" to act to ensure that necessary contingency measures are in place to "limit the most significant damage" caused by a potential no-deal scenario.

HeraldScotland:

The commission warned that the measures cannot mitigate in full the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

And it said that they would not "in any way compensate for the lack of stakeholder preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement".

The commission said: "They are limited to specific areas where it is absolutely necessary to protect the vital interests of the EU and where preparedness measures on their own are not sufficient.

"As a rule, they will be temporary in nature, limited in scope and adopted unilaterally by the EU."

The Commission urged EU27 states to take a "generous" approach to the rights of UK citizens in the EU following a no-deal Brexit, "provided that this approach is reciprocated by the UK".

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EU27 states should ensure that UK citizens legally residing in the EU on the date of withdrawal will continue to be considered legal residents and should take a "pragmatic" approach to granting temporary residence status, it said.

UK nationals should be exempted from visa requirements, provided that all EU citizens are equally exempt from UK visas.

And remaining EU states should take "all possible steps" to protect social security rights of UK expats who have settled in their countries as well as their nationals living in Britain.

The Commission announced "a limited number of contingency measures" to safeguard financial stability in the EU27 following a no-deal Brexit.

And it adopted measures to avoid "full interruption" of air traffic, while warning they will only ensure "basic connectivity" and "in no means replicate the significant advantages of membership of the Single European Sky".