Implications for business and trade of a no deal exit on 29 March 2019

A document was published today that explains the Government’s latest assessment of the implications for business and international trade in the UK, if it leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March.

The Government’s primary aim is to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March with a negotiated deal which will honour the result of the referendum. However, as a responsible government, it continues to plan for all eventualities, including one in which the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

This paper summarises Government activity to prepare for no deal as a contingency plan, and provides an assessment of the implications of a no deal exit for trade and for businesses, given the preparations that have been made.

Document at

Implications for Business and Trade of a No Deal Exit on 29 March 2019 (pdf)

Some interesting excerpts:

17.Evidence suggests that individual citizens are also not preparing for the effects that they would feel in a no deal scenario. UK citizens travelling to or living in the EU would need to complete a number of administrative tasks to ensure that their interactions with the EU are as unaffected as possible. These range from renewing passports, to applying for a car insurance green card and International Driving Permit to drive in the EU. As of February 2019, despite a public information campaign encouraging the public to seek out the Government’s advice on preparing for a “no deal”, noticeable behaviour change has not been witnessed at any significant scale. Based on DExEU survey data from January 2019, 55% of UK adults did not expect to be affected by a no deal exit.

despite a public information campaign Has anybody actually seen this ?

24.When the UK leaves the EU, it will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union, and, in the absence of a trade agreement, the EU will treat the UK as a third country for trade in goods. On exit, this could affect the availability of goods in a number of ways, including customs administration and delays at the border. In the absence of an alternative agreement, UK citizens would be treated as third country nationals by Member States, and potentially be subject to full Schengen checks. This would mean they would no longer be able to use e-gates, and checks to enter EU Member States could take longer than they currently do

Longer queues at immigration/passport control – although there were always long queues before Brexit.

29. One of the most visible ways in which the UK would be affected by delays in goods crossing the Channel is our food supply, 30% of which comes from the EU. Although our food supply is diverse, resilient, and sourced from a wide variety of countries, the potential disruption to trade across the Short Channel Crossings would lead to reduced availability and choice of products. This would not lead to an overall shortage of food in the UK, and less than 1 in 10 food items would be directly affected by any delays across the Short Channel Crossings. However, at the time of year we will be leaving the EU, the UK is particularly reliant on the Short Channel Crossings for fresh fruit and vegetables. In the absence of other action from Government, some food prices are likely to increase, and there is a risk that consumer behaviour could exacerbate, or create, shortages in this scenario. As of February 2019, many businesses in the food supply industry are unprepared for a no deal scenario.

This would not lead to an overall shortage of food in the UK unless the public panic buy …

48. …UK nationals would still be able to travel to the Schengen Area visa-free, for 90 days in every 180, but would not be able to undertake paid activity during this time…