BRITAIN could end up leaving the European Union without a deal after Brussels has repeatedly rejected Theresa May’s requests for talks over the Irish backstop.
So, what does a no deal Brexit mean for the UK? Here’s what you need to know.
What is a No Deal Brexit?
A No Deal British departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship.
Currently Britain’s trade, customs and immigration rules are tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies.
Ministers are seeking a legal deal to replace these with looser arrangements so we are outside the single market and customs union but keeping close ties so cross-border trade is easy.
Negotiations are ongoing under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty ahead of the UK’s exit on March 29, 2019, with Theresa May arriving in Brussels for a showdown with Donald Tusk on February 7, 2019.
No Deal could mean the UK being treated as a “third country” by the EU with commerce governed by World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
On January 6, Boris Johnson claimed that a No Deal Brexit is the “closest to what people voted for” in the referendum.
He also urged Cabinet Ministers to mirror the British public’s “optimism and self-confidence” for the possible exit scenario.
A poll by YouGov on January 14 revealed that 35 per cent of the British public think a No Deal Brexit is likely, 21 per cent thinks a failed deal will result in a second referendum, 12 per cent said the deal will pass and 10 per cent said a better deal could be negotiated.
What happens if there is no Brexit deal?
Brexiteers say it would be a boost for the UK to be free from Brussels rules and we will be able to strike deals with other upcoming nations around the globe.
We would also not be obliged to pay the £39billion divorce bill, according to a House of Commons report — but Chancellor Philip Hammond sparked fury by saying we would pay up even without a deal.
Many people fear the UK economy would be hurt by a “cliff edge” Brexit as trade is held up by new border checks and tariffs and more red tape for businesses.
Doom-monger Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned house prices could crash by a third in a worst-case scenario.
Customs checks on cross-Channel freight could cause havoc at ports, hitting food supplies and other goods such a motor parts.
The Border Force is also planning for a possible No Deal Brexit as they fear there will be “significant outbound queues” at the Eurostar and a “degradation of border security”, Sky News reported.
In a pure No Deal Brexit scenario, businesses would lose their passporting rights, which allow them to sell their services across the EU without having to obtain licences in each individual country.
The 310 mile border between Northern Ireland and the Republic could become a hard border, according to the Eurocrats in Brussels.
The EU’s rules may require Ireland to impose customs and other checks to protect the bloc’s border – which some say would mark a return to the dark days of the Troubles.
It could blow a hole in the Good Friday Agreement, with pressure on all sides to find a compromise.
Theresa May announced on January 7 that a vote on her EU Withdrawal deal will take place on Tuesday, January 15, which was rejected 432 to 202.
May has guaranteed MPs a vote on whether the controversial Brexit “backstop” is triggered if the UK fails to conclude a new trade deal with the EU by the end of next year.
She unveiled her “plan B” Brexit plan on January 21 and vowed to have another go with solving the issue of the “back stop”.
The Confederation of British Industry also said a No Deal Brexit would wipe £193billion off the UK economy, making every region poorer, the Daily Mail reported.
What is the Government doing to prepare for a No Deal?
Ministers announced plans for troops on the street and emergency ferries to cope with a No Deal Brexit.
They will order businesses and families to start preparing for Britain to leave the EU without a deal and release £2billion of extra spending.
Businesses will receive a 100-page document, with a total of 80,000 firms likely to hear from the Government over the next few days.
The news comes as:
Theresa May’s Government plunged into utter disarray over Brexit just 48 hours before a crunch Cabinet meeting over Britain’s future.
In December 2018, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted Britain could “flourish and prosper” if it walks away from the EU with No Deal.
As bitter Brexit battles rage on:
JEREMAIN OR JEXIT?
Is Jeremy Corbyn a remainer and what are his views on Brexit?
Bercow accused of plotting with anti-Brexit MPs after talks with Ken Clarke
NOW OR NEVER
Tony Blair admits plot to stop Brexit has just seven weeks to succeed
Comrade Corbyn revealed as proud Brexiteer in footage from 2009 — & hypocrite
DOWN TO THE WIRE
PM plans to clinch Brexit deal just 72 hours before No Deal deadline
Businesses received a 100-page document about Brexit, with a total of 80,000 firms likely to hear from the Government.
The papers show:
- Imports from Europe would be subject to customs duties and VAT from day one of a No-Deal Brexit
- European banks will be able to operate in Britain for at least three years without any change
- But UK institutions would have to strike their own deal to avoid being shut out of the EU market completely
- Ministers are refusing to impose new checks on European medicines because they fear harming the NHS
- Organic farmers could be badly hit because their goods would be shut out from the continent
- Cigarette packets would get new warning images – because the current ones belong to Brussels
- Civil servants are ramping up their work on No-Deal Brexit with thousands more officials involved in the plans
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