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Implications for Business and Trade of a No Deal Exit on 29 March 2019

Produced by the Cabinet Office, HM Government
 26 February 2019


The Government’s primary aim is to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March with a negotiated deal which will honour the result of the referendum. However, as a responsible government, it continues to plan for all eventualities, including one in which the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Guidance for businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no deal scenario can be found on the Government’s Exit guidance website,

Over recent months, the Government has undertaken significant action to prepare for a potential no deal scenario. Getting ready for this scenario depends not only on. Government action, but also on action from a range of third parties. A no deal scenario would also have impacts on the EU and other Member States, and the steps the Commission and Member States have been taking also have a significant influence on the UK’s preparations for no deal.

This paper summarises Government activity to prepare for no deal as a contingency plan, and provides an assessment of the implications of a no deal exit for trade and for businesses, given the preparations that have been made. The paper explains that leaving the European Union without a deal on 29 March would have a variety of effects on business, trade and the economy, and despite government mitigation, the impact of a ‘no deal’ scenario is expected to be significant in a number of areas. While some of this is inherent to a scenario where the UK does not have any agreements with the EU, or with other countries and organisations with which the UK currently has deals through EU membership, in other cases it would be caused by the abrupt nature of the transition, and the late stage at which many parties are starting their preparations. The paper also addresses issues in relation to Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

The information in this note is drawn from a number of sources over a period of time. It represents a fair reflection of the current state of readiness for a no deal exit.

Read the full report HERE

Compliments of HM Government