The government has published the first batch in a series of ‘no deal’ Brexit technical notices, which aim to help businesses and individuals prepare in case the government fails to reach a deal with the EU.
The first 25 notices cover a range of areas, including medical supplies, financial services, nuclear safeguards, farming and workplace rights. Announcing the publication, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was keen to stress that reaching a Brexit deal ‘remains the overriding priority’.
Prominent business groups have responded to the publication of the guidance.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) criticised the government for making businesses ‘wait too long’ for answers to ‘basic’ Brexit questions. Its Director General, Dr Adam Marshall, said: ‘No deal’ preparations should have happened far earlier, and the onus is on the government to move quickly and give businesses as much detailed, technical information as possible to avoid significant disruption in any scenario.’
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) stated that it is ‘pragmatically right’ to prepare contingency plans in case a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario becomes a reality. Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, commented: ‘We have long highlighted the need for preparations for a ‘no deal’ to be stepped up, to give time and real, practical advice to small businesses in order to make leaving without a deal more orderly.’
Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the publication of the notices. Josh Hardie, Deputy Director General of the CBI, said: ‘It’s right and responsible that the government has supplied information to businesses on issues from financial services passporting to food labelling, all of which will help lower the risks of the harshest outcomes from a ‘no deal’ Brexit.’
The guidance documents can be viewed here. Additional Brexit advisory notices are set to be issued during September.