Brexit minister Dominic Raab has outlined a “practical and proportionate” plan for the possibility that the UK leaves the EU with no deal, amid warnings that Brits visiting the EU could face extra credit card charges.
Guidance issued by the Department for Exiting the European Union includes instructions for businesses facing extra paperwork at borders.
The framework, split across 25 technical notices covering areas sectors including finance, medicine and farming, warns that:
In his speech, Raab insisted the government “neither wants nor expects” the UK to crash out of the EU with no deal, but added it was prudent to plan for the possibility.
“We have a duty, as a responsible government, to plan for every eventuality,” he said. “I am still confident that getting a good deal is, by far, the most likely outcome. The vast majority, roughly 80 percent, of the Withdrawal Agreement has now been agreed, and we are making further progress on those outstanding separation issues.”
He also moved to dismiss what he described as “some of the wilder claims” about the impact of a no deal Brexit.
“Let me reassure you all that, contrary to one of the wilder claims, you will still be able to enjoy a BLT after Brexit. And there are no plans to deploy the army to maintain food supplies.”
“I think it’s also worth saying that most of the worst-case scenarios, being bandied around, imply that the EU would resist all and any mutual cooperation with the UK. In reality, I find it difficult to imagine that our EU partners would not want to cooperate with us even in that scenario in key areas like this, given the obvious mutual benefits involved.”
On financial services, the 23-page long technical note insisted rule-taking – in the sense of an open ended commitment to adopt rules without having influenced their formation – “will simply not work for this sector”.
Central to the UK’s plans for financial services in a no deal scenario is that “parties retain autonomous judgement about access to their market and over legislation” and bilateral agreement, which would include “commitments and processes ensuring transparency, stability and promoting cooperation”.
Under this system, each side’s legislative process and rulemaking would be autonomous, with individuals and businesses are answerable to their respective political and judicial frameworks.
The criteria for determining if a foreign jurisdiction has equivalent standards and supervision for a given sector would be autonomous, while the decision to grant or withdraw equivalence would be an autonomous judgement.
There would be no recourse to the EU/UK Dispute Resolution Mechanism for autonomous matters – only for commitments included in the bilateral, treaty-based agreement.
On bilateral arrangements, the technical note said any framework should be commensurate to the UK’s relationship and degree of market integration; address key gaps in scope; set out institutional co-operation; and use consultation and mediation to explore solutions and agree timescales appropriate for the scale of changes before they take effect.
For European Economic Area firms doing business in the UK and for supervisors, the UK has “no desire to water down existing co-operation”.
“There is no need to default to a world with less predictability about how the two sides will share information, and cooperate day-to-day and in crisis,” the note said.