Government expected to publish 84 papers on impact of no-deal Brexit

Issues ranging from aviation safety to climate change to be covered in potentially eye-opening impact assessments 

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Friday 17 August 2018 12:06
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What does a no-deal Brexit mean?

The government is preparing to publish more than 80 reports on the possible consequences of a no-deal Brexit, leaked reports suggest.

The papers are expected to be released over the course of the next month and will cover areas ranging from aviation safety to animal breeding to gun regulations.

They have been drawn up by government departments across Whitehall as the prospect of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal edges closer.

Theresa May will hope the breadth of the reports highlights the risks of a no-deal Brexit, as she attempts to convince both Tory Brexiteers and EU leaders to support the plan agreed by ministers at Chequers last month.

At that meeting the cabinet also agreed to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, given there are only months left before Britain leaves the EU next March.

For a deal to be ratified by the European parliament before then, an agreement with the EU would need to be reached by October or November this year.

While most of the basis of a deal has been agreed, there is still deadlock over the issues of customs and the Northern Ireland border.

The lack of agreement prompted an increase in preparations for no deal. Eurosceptic ministers have also suggested the EU will only compromise if it believes Britain is serious about the prospect of quitting the bloc without a deal.

A list of the assessments of a no-deal Brexit was leaked to Buzzfeed News. It shows how Britain works closely with the EU in a huge number of areas, including those as diverse as medicine testing, broadcasting, consumer protections, driver licensing and the transportation of horses.

Some of the so-called technical notices are expected to be wide ranging, covering issues as broad as financial services, climate change and company law, while others will focus on specific issues such as travelling abroad with pets.

They are due to be published in stages over the course of the next month, beginning as early as next week.

Almost half of the documents have been drawn up by either the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, or the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Department for Transport and the Treasury have also played leading roles.

The planning is being coordinated by the Department for Exiting the European Union.

A spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on leaks or speculation. However, as we’ve already made clear, individual departments are preparing specific technical notices to help citizens, businesses and consumers to prepare for March 2019 in the unlikely event of a no-deal scenario. This is part of our preparatory work that has been underway for the past two years.

“These will be published in August and September and will be available on gov.uk in a centralised location that is easy for people to access and use. The secretary of state for exiting the EU [Dominic Raab] and the prime minister confirmed this in July.”

The reports are believed to be written in a neutral tone in order to avoid fuelling accusations that the government is scaremongering.

However, they are likely to draw attention to the stark consequences of leaving the EU without a deal.

Ministers have already admitted they are preparing for possible food and medicine shortages, while warnings have also been voiced about potential gridlock at ports and borders if all shipments entering the UK have to be checked by customs officials.

More than 650,000 people have now signed The Independent‘s petition to give the public a Final Say on Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

According to Buzzfeed, the full list of reports due to be published covers these areas:

  • Air services
  • Animal breeding
  • Aviation safety
  • Aviation security
  • Batch testing of medicine
  • Blood safety
  • Broadcasting
  • Chemicals regulation
  • Civil judicial cooperation
  • Civil nuclear
  • Climate
  • Commercial road haulage
  • Common Travel Area
  • Company law
  • Competition
  • Consumer protection
  • Cross-border gas trading
  • Customs and borders
  • Data
  • Driver licensing
  • Drugs
  • e-Commerce and geo-blocking
  • Electricity trading
  • Environmental standards
  • Equine movements
  • Erasmus
  • EU citizens in the UK
  • EU programmes and structural funds
  • EU space programmes
  • European regional development fund
  • European social fund
  • Export control regulation
  • Fertilisers
  • Financial services
  • Firearms
  • Fisheries, fish and seafood
  • Fluorinated gases and Ozone depleting substances
  • Food labelling
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Geographical indicators
  • Health and identification marks for products of animal origin
  • Horizon 2020
  • Imports of food and feed
  • Insolvency
  • Intellectual property
  • Life sciences
  • Live animals and animal products
  • Maritime security
  • Motor insurance
  • New car and van CO2 emissions
  • NGOs
  • Nuclear research
  • Objects of cultural interest
  • Oil and gas
  • Organic food production
  • Organs, tissue, and cells
  • Passports
  • Payments to farmers
  • Pesticides regulations
  • Pet travel
  • Plants and seeds
  • Procurement
  • Product regulation
  • Registration of veterinary medicines
  • Renewable electricity issues
  • Rural Development Programme for England
  • Seafarer certification
  • Services
  • State aid
  • Telecoms
  • Timber trade
  • Tobacco
  • Trade agreements continuity
  • Trade in endangered species
  • Trade remedies
  • Trans-European energy infrastructure
  • UK citizens in the EU
  • UK LIFE projects
  • UK trade tariff
  • Upholding industrial emissions
  • VAT
  • Vehicle standards
  • Veterinary medicine products
  • Workplace rights

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