The possibility of a no-deal Brexit is very much alive, as Tory leadership contenders jostle to take over from Theresa May as prime minister
What is a no-deal Brexit?
- This means the UK would immediately leave the European Union (EU) with no agreement about the “divorce” process.
- No deal also means immediately leaving EU institutions such as the European Court of Justice and Europol, its law enforcement body.
- Membership of dozens of EU bodies that govern rules on everything from medicines to trade marks would end.
- UK would no longer contribute to the EU budget – currently about £9bn a year.
After Theresa May’s deal was defeated, the Brexit deadline was extended to 31 October.
To avoid a no-deal Brexit on this date, the UK government must pass a Brexit divorce plan into law, obtain another extension from the EU, or cancel Brexit. Many politicians are against no deal.They say it would damage the economy and lead to border posts between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Are preparations under way?
Most economists and business groups believe no deal would lead to economic harm. To cushion some of the impact, the government is looking at what might happen in a worst-case no-deal scenario. This includes:
- Border delays
- Increased immigration checks
- Less food available
- Possible price increases for utilities, food and fuel
What about the people?
Individuals could be affected in all sorts of ways.
For example, if a no deal disrupted cross-Channel trade, some food prices could rise – a possibility highlighted by a government assessment.
EU citizens in the UK can apply for settled status, allowing them to remain even if there is a no deal.
UK expats in the EU are advised to register as residents of the country they live in, although no deal could make moving across borders more difficult.
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