August 23, 2018 / 12:01 PM / 3 months ago

Factbox - Reaction to the British government's 'no deal' Brexit plans

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday set out a series of notes detailing what could happen if it fails to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union, acknowledging that firms would face a tangle of red tape and possible delays at the border.

Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab delivers his speech outlining the government's plans for a no-deal Brexit in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Below is some reaction to Brexit minister Dominic Raab’s speech on the government’s ‘no deal’ planning and the guidance notes it has published on preparing for that scenario:

EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESMAN

“We are working constructively to reach a deal. It is also clear that the withdrawal of the UK is going to lead to disruptions regardless, with a deal or without a deal. And that’s why everybody, in particular economic operators, needs to be prepared.”

KEIR STARMER, BREXIT SPOKESMAN, LABOUR PARTY

“The speech was thin on detail, thin on substance and provided no answers to how ministers intend to mitigate the serious consequences of leaving the EU without an agreement.”

“A no deal Brexit has never been viable and would represent a complete failure of the government’s negotiating strategy.”

STEPHEN JONES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, UK FINANCE

“The government is taking a pragmatic approach to addressing critical cliff-edge issues and to ensure consumers and businesses can continue accessing vital cross-border services.”

“However, these issues cannot be addressed by the UK acting alone. It is therefore vital that negotiators on both sides work together to agree solutions that prevent any unnecessary disruption and additional costs for customers in both the EU and UK.”

ADAM MARSHALL, BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE DIRECTOR GENERAL

“The stark reality is that in a ‘no deal’ scenario, it appears that the government’s intention is to impose full-blown customs controls on trade between the EU and the UK immediately ... Given well-publicised concerns surrounding the capacity and readiness of UK customs systems, we question whether this outcome is realistic.”

STEPHEN MARTIN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS

“This is a welcome step from the government, though not before time.”

“Further detail on what steps the government would take to mitigate the effect of no deal is especially important for business confidence. The government must continue to come clean about these plans so that firms are truly in the know when making their own preparations. A no deal would be bad, but a no deal with no planning would be worse.”

JOSH HARDIE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL, CBI

“By now, few can be in any doubt that ‘no deal’ would wreak havoc on economies across Europe. These papers show that those who claim crashing out of the EU on World Trade Organisation rules is acceptable live in a world of fantasy, where facts are not allowed to challenge ideology.”

“It’s right and responsible that the government have supplied information to businesses on issues from financial services passporting to food labelling, all of which will help lower the risks of the harshest outcomes from a ‘no deal’ Brexit. But without a similar response from the EU, many of these mitigating measures would be blunted.”

STEPHEN PHIPSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, EEF

“EEF welcomes the increased clarity for businesses from the publication of today’s raft of technical notices. However the remaining notices need to be published at the utmost speed so companies have the full picture to enable them to prepare properly for a no-deal scenario.”

MINETTE BATTERS, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL FARMERS’ UNION

“The technical notice for organic farming is a warning for us on the future of trade of all agri-food products - if all these products were subjected to the same problems in approvals and certification then this could result in effectively a trade embargo on exports to the EU. Not only would this be hugely disruptive but it threatens livelihoods and businesses in the UK.”

HELEN DICKINSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM

“Any delays caused by increased red tape will have a serious impact on over one-third of our food imports. 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 VAT bombshell for consumers and businesses.”

MICHAEL RUSSELL, SCOTTISH GOVT BREXIT MINISTER

“These technical notices reveal the ‘no deal’ Brexit nightmare facing Scotland and lay bare the risks facing Scottish businesses, the economy and public services.

“From the bureaucratic burden that will be imposed on EU imports and exports to the need to strike a wide range of ‘no deal’ deals before the end of March, these notices only add to the uncertainty.”

THILO BRODTMANN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GERMAN ENGINEERING FEDERATION VDMA:

“In view of the slow progress of negotiations, it is indeed logical that both sides also consider the option of a failure of the exit talks. But emergency plans do not absolve politicians of the responsibility to do everything to ensure that an emergency does not arise. Companies must in fact now arm themselves protectively for a hard Brexit; we hope, however, that these preparations will never need to be put into practise.”

Compiled by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Kate Holton

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