How to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal

September 17, 2018 10:14 am

Guidance on how to prepare for Brexit if there’s no deal.

As the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union announced on 18 July, the government will publish a series of technical notices during August and September.  Today we are publishing the first 25 of these notices.  And will publish more during September.

No deal scenario

In short, these notices are for both businesses and citizens.  They provide information so that everyone understands what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario.  This is so that everyone can make informed plans and preparations.

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely.  This is because the UK and the EU share a mutual interest in securing a negotiated outcome.  The UK government published a white paper for the future relationship on 12 July.  Furthermore, we are working with the EU’s negotiating team at pace to agree the terms of our future relationship.  And this will work alongside the Withdrawal Agreement later this year.  However, it is our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities.  And this, of course, includes ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work.  This will help to ensure that the UK is ready from day 1 in all scenarios.  Of course, this includes a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario would have to be accelerated.  Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome.  Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

Chequers statement

This is consistent with the statement published on 6 July 2018 following the Cabinet’s away day at Chequers, as follows:

“It remains our firm view that it is in the best interests of both sides to reach agreement on a good and sustainable future relationship.  But we also concluded that it was responsible to continue preparations for a range of potential outcomes, including the possibility of ‘no deal’.  Given the short period remaining before the necessary conclusion of negotiations this autumn, we agreed preparations should be stepped up.”


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