Ministers are set to start unveiling their ‘no deal’ Brexit plans as the standoff with the EU deepens, it was revealed today.
The first wave of papers are due to be published next week spelling out how the government will handle a turbulent departure from the bloc in March.
The chances of a collapse in negotiations appear to be rising, with the Latvian foreign minister warning they are now 50-50.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has been on a frantic diplomatic tour this week, invoked the ire of Brexiteers last night by suggesting ‘no deal’ would be ‘regretted for generations’. But he also insisted the UK would ‘find a way to prosper’ whatever happened.
The ‘technical’ notices on Brexit are expected to cover issues ranging from farming to customs, and go into detail about the measures that would be needed.
One example is of cigarette packets, where Brussels controls the copyright on the grim health warning images that are currently used. Britain could require its own pictures in future.
The first paper, pencilled in for Thursday next week, is expected to deal with any stockpiling of medical supplies and vaccines by the NHS.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has also suggested that the food industry could need to take action to ensure ‘adequate’ supplies if the UK crashes out.
In total, 80 papers on a ‘no deal’ outcome are expected to be issued over the coming months.