Dominic Raab dismisses no deal Brexit reports as 'hair-raising scare stories'

Daniel Fowler
August 23, 2018

They say United Kingdom citizens living in Europe also face losing access to their pension income and other financial services.

But Thursday's advisories about a no-deal Brexit - even after being reportedly softened by the government - still conjure up a lot of hassle, red tape, extra cost and dysfunction.

"The government's technical notices demonstrate the facts of a no-deal Brexit - reduced availability and higher prices of food and medicine, increased delays and red tape at borders, and a Value-Added Tax bombshell for consumers and businesses".

Raab said Britain would continue to recognise batch testing and European Union certifications for medicine to avoid disruption but said the government would in any case stockpile medicines for an extra six weeks on top of the existing period of three months.

While he would guarantee it would be by the earmarked deadline of the October European Council, he said it would be around the "beginning of November, but not much later than that certainly".

Mr Raab, who will deliver a keynote speech the same day in Westminster, said he believed a deal was still "by far the most likely outcome" but a responsible Government needed to set out the steps it was taking to mitigate the risks of a no-deal break.

Over a million Britons living overseas may not be able to access their United Kingdom bank accounts to receive pensions and salaries, the document said.

"For UK-based customers who access banking, insurance, investment funds and other financial services with EEA firms now passporting into the UK, temporary permissions will enable these firms to continue to provide these services to UK customers for up to three years after exit - allowing firms time to apply for authorisation to continue operating in the UK", the documents said.

The government must continue to come clean about these plans so that firms are truly in the know when making their own preparations.

Regulators will consult this autumn on arrangements for coverage to continue, the documents said.

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Leaving the single market and the customs union without a deal means significantly higher barriers to trade with the EU.

"We urge the EU Commission to do the same".

'Obviously insurers want to meet their commitments to their customers, but this problem has the potential to affect millions of insurance customers, including United Kingdom pensioners overseas.

In recent weeks there have been more warnings about what might happen if the United Kingdom and the European Union have not reached a deal by Brexit day.

Pro-Brexit advocates, meanwhile, plan a campaign to ensure the British government goes through with the decision to leave, which was made by voters in a 2016 referendum.

Finance heads of some of the UK's leading companies reveal their concerns about the impact of a no-deal scenario and how they are addressing the potential challenge.

"Both sides must rapidly agree the terms of the UK's withdrawal and a future relationship based on cooperation to protect public health, control infectious diseases and manage medicine safety".

The government says it is committed to acting in the "best interests of the people of Northern Ireland" but offers little comfort to businesses trading between the region and the Republic of Ireland, telling them to "ask Dublin" what they should do.

The documents failed to address the issue of the Irish border, one of the trickiest parts of the ongoing negotiations.

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