The new Brexit secretary is to ramp up preparations for a “no deal” Brexit, as both Brexiteer and pro-Brussels Tory MPs threaten to rebel against the Prime Minister’s widely unpopular Brexit deal.
Dominic Raab is set to begin contacting households and businesses with advice on how to be ready for the UK walking away from the European Union (EU) without a trade deal or agreement on citizenship and migration, the Financial Times reports.
His department will publish 70 documents explaining how a clean “no deal” Brexit would affect different sectors to show Brussels that the UK is serious about walking away from talks if the EU is uncooperative.
Mr Raab is set to travel to Brussels Thursday for his first meeting with EU negotiators, including the hardliner Michel Barnier.
Looking forward to taking questions from MPs on Brexit this morning, with our excellent Ministerial team @DExEUgov, then off to Brussels to meet Michel Barnier and his team. Time to intensify our negotiations.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) July 19, 2018
On Thursday, it was reported that Mr Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, was not keen on the Prime Minister’s customs plans for a “soft” Brexit, and would instead hammer the UK on the Irish border issue at talks on Friday.
The cabinet’s remaining Brexiteers, who have not resigned, have demanded “no deal” plans are published as a condition for supporting her “soft Brexit” white paper – as they will need to be implemented should the EU reject her offer.
A Whitehall official said: “Michael Gove was one of several ministers who accepted that the UK should try and reach a deal with Brussels on a plan for a softer Brexit.
“But the quid pro quo was that this had to be accompanied by a more convincing threat that the UK could walk away from the talks if the EU refuses to play ball.”
The European Commission and several national governments within the EU have also published similar “no deal” information for businesses and their people.
Power Grab: May’s Brexit Bureaucrat Purges 50 Brexit Department Staff https://t.co/eWmd8CgHM7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 17, 2018
Mr Raab’s Department for Exiting the European Union’s new focus is now “no deal” planning after David Davis resigned and Civil Service career bureaucrat Olly Robbins took control of 50 negotiating experts in the department.
Jill Rutter, of the Institute for Government think-tank, said: “There’s a huge communications effort that needs to be made towards business in the event of a no deal, such as hat happens to suppliers and supply chains.
“Other countries, such as Ireland and the Netherlands, have already put in place much better resources than the UK to help business plan for that eventuality.”