The No-Deal Readiness Report has just been published by the Government

  • The report summarises the steps the Government has taken to ensure that we are ready for a no-deal Brexit on 31st October.
  • In summary, it discusses the opportunities Brexit would provide for trade, individuals, finance, farming and fishing, public services, health, procurement and international sanctions. It also discusses future policies and what will change for each of the aforementioned sectors.
  • Trade:
    • “For the first time in nearly 50 years, the UK will have an independent trade policy, and be free to articulate our own voice at the WTO. We will be able to set our own tariffs, take our own decisions on regulatory issues, and create new and ambitious trade relationships.”
  • Sanctions:
    • “If we leave without a deal, the UK would pursue an independent sanctions policy to support UK interests and values. For example, the Government has announced its intention to establish a UK autonomous human rights sanctions regime.”
  • Separately, it discusses how the Government has been preparing for a no-deal Brexit since 2016, stating that the Government has already:
    • signed and secured continuity trade agreements with non-EU countries, as well as continuity agreements across key sectors;
    • recruited up to 1,000 new staff at the border; and
    • granted almost 1.5 million people status under the EU Settlement Scheme (inter alia).

How Number 10 views the state of the negotiations – The Spectator

  • The Spectator contacted Number 10 to enquire into the state of Brexit negotiations, and their response was as follows:
    • “The negotiations will probably end this week. Varadkar doesn’t want to negotiate.”
    • “Since the Benn Act passed he has gone very cold and in the last week the official channels and the backchannels have also gone cold.”
    • “It’s clear he wants to gamble on a second referendum and that he’s encouraging Barnier to stick to the line that the UK cannot leave the EU without leaving Northern Ireland behind.”
  • Now, this is—obviously—only one side of the negotiations view of things. It does, however, make clear Downing Street’s pessimism about getting a deal this week and it is thinking about how to handle the coming extension and election campaign.

Deal ‘essentially impossible’ after PM-Merkel call – BBC

  • Boris Johnson spoke to the German chancellor earlier today about the proposals he put forward to the EU – but a Number 10 source said she made clear a deal based on them was “overwhelmingly unlikely”.
  • The source suggested Mrs Merkel told her counterpart the only way to break the deadlock was for Northern Ireland to stay in the customs union and for it to permanently accept EU single market rules on trade in goods.