Belgium is setting up a meeting of the heads of state of those countries that would be most directly affected by a no-deal Brexit.
The meeting is expected to take place ahead of Wednesday’s extraordinary summit in Brussels, where the 27 EU member states will vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s most recent request to delay Brexit.
The United Kingdom is currently on course to leave the European Union without a deal this Friday, although most experts agree that Ms May’s request of an extension will be accepted by the EU before then.
The countries invited by Belgium are Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, France and Ireland, countries which are both geographically close to the UK and also maintain extensive trade relations with the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has also been invited to the meeting, although with Germany’s leader also scheduled to appear at the Bundestag before the summit it is unlikely that she will be able to attend.
The problems that will be discussed at the meeting include the coordination of border control operations and economic and phytosanitary inspections.