A series of technical notices will ensure the “smooth, continued, functioning” of the UK economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab is expected to say.
In a speech outlining the Government’s planning for a possible no-deal the Brexit Secretary will say the Government would take “unilateral action” to maintain continuity if negotiations breakdown.
Mr Raab is expected to say the UK, in the event of a no-deal, would “continue to behave as responsible European neighbours”.
His speech on Thursday will coincide with the publication of the first batch in a series of technical notices advising businesses and the public on what they need to do to prepare for a no-deal scenario.
Mr Raab is due to say: “I remain confident a good deal is within our sights, and that remains our top, and overriding, priority. If the EU responds with the level of ambition and pragmatism, we will strike a strong deal that benefits both sides.
“But, we must be ready to consider the alternative. We have a duty, as a responsible government, to plan for every eventuality.
“These technical notices — and the ones that will follow — are a sensible, measured,and proportionate approach to minimising the impact of no deal on British firms, citizens,charities and public bodies.”
He will add: “They will provide information and guidance. Our overarching aim is to facilitate the smooth, continued, functioning of business, transport, infrastructure, research, aid programmes and funding streams.
“In some cases, it means taking unilateral action to maintain as much continuity as possible in the short term, in the event of no deal — irrespective of whether the EU reciprocates.”
Mr Raab in his speech will say the UK, in the event of a no-deal, would “diverge when we are ready, on our terms” from the European Union.
The Brexit Secretary will explain there is already planning talks between the Bank of England and the European Central Bank for a no-deal scenario and called for talks to begin on data protection and between port authorities.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer dismissed the documents as a distraction.
Speaking to ITV News, Mr Starmer said that Britain would be “worse off” without a deal or under Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers proposal.
He said that in “both those scenarios, I think we’ll be worse off”, adding that “anything else is hypothetical”.
“If there was either no deal or the sort of deal that the prime minster is proposing, I think we’d be worse off, which is why we’re [Labour] fighting so hard on that,” he said.
While he refused to be drawn on the kind of deal Labour would have negotiated, Mr Starmer’s frankness about Britain’s position in a no-deal scenario is in contrast to that of his party leader.
In an interview with Channel 4 News, Jeremy Corbyn was asked six times whether he believed Britain would be better off outside the EU, but refused to be pinned down, saying instead that he wanted the UK to have a “good relationship with the European Union”.
Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake called on ministers to give the public a final say on the deal, he said: “The choice between a catastrophic Brexit no-deal and the rejected Chequers plan is no choice at all.
“That’s why the Liberal Democrats think the public deserves a vote on the final deal and a chance to exit from Brexit.”
Under current plans, the reports will be published in batches, starting on Thursday and running through September.
The Government has not confirmed the subjects they cover but reports suggest they include subjects including aviation safety, civilian nuclear power, medical drugs, the rights of British citizens living in the EU, road haulage and fishing rights.