All you need to know about the Government’s no-deal Brexit papers
The Department for Exiting the European Union has been criticised over the release of the papers
The Government has so far published 77 technical notices giving guidance on the impact of a no-deal exit from the European Union.
The documents, which have been published in batches on the gov.uk website since the end of August, cover a range of areas from roaming charges for mobile phones to delays in sperm donations arriving in the UK.
It is not yet clear whether the technical notices released on Monday (September 24) will be the final tranche, with one spokesman for the Brexit department telling the Press Association: “We’re not sure, depending on the needs we see we may or may not publish more”, and another later adding: “That’s it for now, but as with all of these things we will keep the situation under review.”
Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake criticised the apparent confusion, saying: “What a farce. This Tory Government is utterly inept. Ministers are either withholding from the public the full extent of their Brexit mess or, simply put, they just don’t know what they have got the country into.”
The key points from the technical papers announced so far are:
– The removal of an EU ban on credit and debit card surcharges is “likely” to increase the cost of shopping.
– UK citizens living in Europe face the possibility of losing access to their pension income and other financial services.
– Consumers would face another potential cost increase when online shopping, with parcels arriving in the UK no longer liable for Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) on VAT.
– Businesses exporting to Europe may have to “renegotiate commercial terms” to reflect customs and other tariff changes.
– The firms may also need to pay out for new software or hire “a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider” to help them deal with new requirements.
– Companies exporting across the Irish border should “consider whether you will need advice from the Irish Government about preparations you need to make”.
– NHS patients may face delays accessing innovative treatments.
– Cigarette packet health warnings would change as the current images used are copyrighted to the EU.
– Organic food producers face a “cliff edge” of exporting to the EU only if certified by a body approved by the European Commission, with certification taking up to nine months after Brexit.
– The Government is planning to recruit an extra 9,000 staff to the Civil Service to deal with Brexit, in addition to 7,000 currently working on preparations.
– The Government will pay for British aid organisation programmes whose funding could be ended in the event of no deal.
– Free mobile phone data roaming in the EU “could no longer be guaranteed” – although Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which cover more than 85% of mobile subscribers, have said they have no current plans to change their approach and bring in new charges.
– UK firms working on the EU’s 10 billion euro Galileo satellite navigation system could be cut out of existing contracts as well as barred from seeking new ones.
– Holders of legal firearms face additional bureaucracy if they want to take them to EU countries, because the European Firearms Pass would no longer be available to UK citizens.
– People trying to conceive a child could be hit by delays to foreign sperm donations as Danish semen made up almost half of all non-British male reproductive material imported to the UK in 2017.
– British drivers might need International Driving Permits (IDP) if the EU does not agree to recognise UK licences.
– Producers of dozens of types of British traditional foods, from Cornish clotted cream to Welsh lamb, may be forced to apply for new protected status from the EU.
– Bus and coach services to European Union countries could be suspended as no deal would mean operators could no longer rely on automatic recognition by the EU of UK-issued community licences.
– Pet owners may face months of preparation before a trip to Europe as without agreement and the UK becomes an “unlisted” country and a health certificate would be needed to prove pets are effectively vaccinated for rabies.
– Passengers could face flight disruption as airlines will have to obtain individual permissions to operate between the UK and the EU.