Brexit: First 'no-deal' technical notices to be published on Thursday, says Downing Street

More than 80 documents giving advice to citizens and businesses due to come out before end of September

Jon Sharman
Saturday 18 August 2018 23:46
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What does a no-deal Brexit mean?

The government is to begin publishing its Brexit technical notices, setting out the consequences of crashing out of the EU without a deal, on Thursday, the prime minister’s office has said.

The first of the explanatory documents are expected from the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) within days and are designed to inform citizens and businesses how to cope with a no-deal scenario.

All 84 of the notices are due to be published before the end of September. Some are thought to be broad in scope, covering issues like financial services, company law and climate change, while others will focus on specific problems including travelling abroad with pets.

Two days before the first publication, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab will travel to Brussels in a bid to pick up the pace of talks with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Theresa May’s office added on Saturday.

“On the agenda will be resolving the few remaining withdrawal issues related to the UK leaving the EU and pressing ahead with discussions on the future relationship,” Downing Street said of Tuesday’s planned summit.

Mr Raab is also due to give a speech outlining how the government plans to mitigate the potential risks of leaving the EU without a deal and ensure continuity and stability.

It comes amid The Independent‘s campaign for a Final Say on any Brexit deal. More than 660,000 people have signed our petition, and The Independent has joined forces with the People’s Vote campaign for a mass march through central London later this year.

Almost half of the technical notices have been drawn up by either the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs or the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Chris Grayling’s Department for Transport and the Treasury have also played prominent roles. Planning is being coordinated by DExEU.

A spokesperson said on Friday, when leaked reports of the documents emerged: “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 papers are expected to employ measured language to avoid criticism – aired previously by Brexiteer MPs – that the government is “weaponising” the idea of no-deal Brexit.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph claimed that Britain would recognise some EU regulations in the event Ms May cannot negotiate a deal, to prevent national paralysis.

The paper reported that the technical notices would set out how government planned to take a “flexible” approach to make sure key European products were still available in the UK after March 2019.

For instance, the medicines regulator would “take steps to keep market access for importers”, the report cited the notices as saying.

Earlier in the summer the government admitted it planned to stockpile blood and medicines in case no-deal Brexit came to pass.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said he had met with industry leaders to discuss building up the NHS’ reserves of vaccinations and other supplies, while Mr Raab also confirmed preparations were underway to stockpile food.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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