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Three ways no-deal Brexit would cause ‘chaos’ for British people

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Theresa May
Theresa May revealed the latest set of warnings about a
no-deal Brexit.

Getty

  • The latest tranche of no-deal Brexit papers has been
    released by the UK government.
  • They reveal that flights between Europe and the UK could be
    grounded.
  • Many British lorries would be barred from entering Europe.
  • Food producers would have to make costly changes to all
    labels.
  • “We face chaos at the ports, serious disruption to food
    supplies, increasing business costs, rising consumer prices and
    ever more administrative burdens on the food and drink industry,”
    said an industry chief.

LONDON — The UK government on Monday published its latest tranche
of notices on how a no-deal Brexit would affect British
households and businesses.

They cover everything from flights to Europe to lorry licences
and add to previous releases which suggest a no-deal Brexit could
also hit pensions, credit card payments and food imports.

Industry figures on Monday warned that the government’s own plans
detail “chaos” that would ensue if Britain failed to secure a
deal and crashed out of the EU in March next year.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Flights could be grounded


London Heathrow Airport
A plane at Heathrow
Airport

London Heathrow
Airport


Flights between the UK and EU are governed by a wide range of EU
legislation which allows UK-registered airlines to operate in the
EU and vice versa.

The government’s
latest advice on flights
admits that would end if there was
no Brexit deal, saying that “UK and EU licensed airlines would
lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK
and the EU without seeking advance permission.” That means
flights could be grounded in Europe and the UK.

How would the government attempt to solve such a huge problem?
The government says the “UK would envisage granting permission to
EU airlines to continue to operate,” and says: “We would expect
EU countries to reciprocate in turn.”

That means it would unilaterally grant European airlines the
right to continue flying to and from the UK, and hope the EU
would return the favour. But the EU has given no such indication
it would do that. Failing that, the UK government says it would
try to negotiate a temporary deal with the EU to keep flights in
the air, or bilateral deals with every European country.

If such permissions are not granted, the government says “there
could be disruption to some flights.”

Lorries could be barred from entering Europe 


calais drivers
British lorries and cars at Dover
Getty

In short, the government’s
no-deal advice on haulage
concedes that many British lorries
attempting to move goods to Europe could be unable to continue
operating without a deal.

Why? Currently, an operator licence for a lorry issued by the UK
is effectively valid across the European Union on account of
Britain’s single market membership. That means a British trucker
with a valid licence can drive goods from Dover to Calais and all
the way across Europe. The number of available licenses is
unlimited.

A no-deal Brexit would see Britain revert to an old set of
international arrangements which handed Britain just 103 permits
to cover the 300,000 journeys made by British trucks make to
Europe every year.

The government says in its latest memo on road haulage that it
may not have enough time to renegotiate lorry permits under a
no-deal scenario, and says that demand for permits will
“significantly exceed supply.”

The road haulage industry says this scenario would spell chaos
for the industry.

The government also suggests that hauliers should consider
alternative modes of transport to move goods between the UK and
the EU in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The Road Haulage
Association (RHA) said it was “astounded” by that proposal.

“The RHA is astounded by the suggestion that hauliers should
consider alternative modes of transport to move goods between the
UK and the EU in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit,” said the group
in a release.

“Goods are moved by road freight are because of speed and
efficiency,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said. “The
UK relies on its incredibly efficient supply chain for consumers
and businesses to get the things they need.”

“This would very quickly put the manufacturing sector under
severe pressure and the hauliers they rely on out of business.”

‘Lost forever’: Food manufacturers would have to change labelling
on all food products


Heinz tomato ketchup bottles on shelf in store
Heinz
Ketchup

Mike
Blake/Reuters


Currently, all food labels describe food produced in the UK as
originating in the EU. That would no longer be correct for
food or ingredients from the UK under a no deal Brexit, the
government said. 
That means food manufacturers
would have to change the labelling on all of their food products
from March next year.

There’s more. For pre-packed products sold in the UK, the
label would have to describe the UK address of a “responsible
food business operator.” Many products which provide addresses
elsewhere in the EU — French cheese or Spanish ham, for example,
would need to register an address in the UK in order to carry on
selling their products to Brits. They would then have to update
their labels accordingly.

Equally, any British company selling products elsewhere in the EU
would have to register an EU address. Industry figures slammed
the news, warning EU markets could be “lost forever” to
British producers.

“Today’s technical notices lay bare the grisly prospect of a
‘no-deal’ Brexit,” said Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food
& Drink Federation.

“We face chaos at the ports, serious disruption to food supplies,
increasing business costs, rising consumer prices and ever more
administrative burdens on the food and drink industry,” he said.

“UK food and drink manufacturers will need to make immediate and
costly changes to product labelling to remove references to the
EU in origin labelling.

“The limited timeframe for such changes and the accompanying
administrative burdens further threaten the success of UK export
sales to the EU, our largest export market,” said Wright.

“If EU consumers are unable to access UK food and drink, the
chances are they will switch to other sources of supply and those
export markets will be lost forever.

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