UK Releases Plan for ‘Unlikely’ No-Deal Brexit
Britain’s Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has outlined plans for tackling the ramifications of a potential no-deal Brexit, or hard Brexit, regardless of the describing it as an “unlikely” scenario.
Raab had made it clear earlier this week that the UK government was going to advise people, companies, and other entities on handling a potential Brexit without a deal, tackling first “hair-raising scare stories”.
The UK’s Brexit Secretary declared that a hard Brexit materialized, Britain would keep in place certain EU rules to facilitate imports from the EU, and called upon Brussels to do the same with respect to British goods.
The UK would also still recognize batch testing and EU certifications for medicines to avoid disruption.
Nonetheless, Raab revealed the government had asked pharmaceutical companies to stockpile supplies for additional 6 weeks, on top of their normal levels lasting three months.
At the same time, London’s Brexit Secretary sought to project confidence as to the outcome of the Brexit talks.
“I remain confident a good deal is within our sights, and that remains our top, and overriding, priority,” Raab said in a speech in London, as cited by AFP, while the British government published the first of a series of “technical notices” advising sectors of the economy how to handle a no-deal Brexit.
“If the EU responds with the same level of ambition and pragmatism, we will strike a strong deal that benefits both sides. But we must be ready to consider the alternative,” he added.
“In some cases, it means taking unilateral action to maintain as much continuity as possible in the short term, in the event of no deal – irrespective of whether the EU reciprocates,” Raab stressed.
In its notices, the UK government warns of “increased costs and slower processing times” for euro transactions and told that “the cost of card payments between the UK and the EU will likely increase”.
Consumers may also have to pay more for online shopping and cross-border payments would also no longer be covered by a “surcharging ban” under EU rules.
Another notice advised businesses they could face additional customs costs and should consider buying appropriate software or hiring a customs broker.
The British government reassured farmers it would continue to pay them subsidies currently paid by the EU. However, UK organic food producers would need certification by a body recognized by the EU to sell their produce in the Union.
The EU has already produced 68 notices on “Brexit preparedness”, while in the UK a number of organizations have issued warnings.
The EU is also “preparing for all possible outcomes” even though its priority is achieving Britain’s “orderly withdrawal”, Alexander Winterstein, a European Commission spokesman, is quoted as saying.
“It is also clear that the withdrawal of the UK is going to lead to disruption regardless – with a deal or without a deal. That’s why everybody, and in particular economic operators, needs to be prepared,” he added.
The EU insists that a Brexit deal be negotiated by October 2018 to allow the British and European Parliaments time to vote on it.
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