London – Higher card payment costs, border disruption and red tape — the British government has warned about the risks of a no-deal Brexit as it outlined how it might manage the fallout.
Here are the main points from the first 25 of 84 “technical notices” due to be published by the end of September about the impact for British businesses if negotiations collapse:
How does a country go about leaving the EU?
– Card payment hike –
The government warned British consumers could face “increased costs and slower processing times” for euro transactions and that “the cost of card payments between the UK and EU will likely increase”.
A European Union ban on surcharging that stops businesses charging consumers for using certain payment methods would also end.
Consumers could face another potential cost increase when online shopping, since parcels arriving in Britain would no longer be liable for Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) on Value Added Tax.
– Red tape –
Firms trading with the EU could also face new costs.
Companies should “if necessary, put steps in place to renegotiate commercial terms to reflect any changes in customs and excise procedures, and any new tariffs that may apply to UK-EU terms,” one of the notices said.
“Businesses should consider whether it is appropriate for them to acquire software and/or engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to support them with these new requirements,” it said.
– Ask Ireland –
The issue of trading across the border between Northern Ireland — part of the United Kingdom — and the Republic of Ireland is one of the most contentious in the current Brexit negotiations.
British firms trading with Ireland should “consider whether you will need advice from the Irish government about preparations you need to make” in case of no deal, the government advised in a notice thin on detail.
– Financial services –
The government warned clients across the European Economic Area would no longer be able to use the services of UK-based investment banks, while cross-border contracts may no longer be valid.
Banks can avoid such disruption by setting up EU subsidiaries — something that many lenders have already started doing.
Financial services contributed more than a quarter of Britain’s services exports to the EU, accounting for £27 billion (30 billion euros, $35 billion) out of £90 billion in 2016.
– Trade and goods –
A Trade Remedies Authority would be created for British businesses with complaints, replacing the European Commission.
“We will continue to apply highly automated, risk-based and intelligence-targeted customs controls,” according to the summary of Britain’s no-deal preparations.
Customs authorities will work with industry to “minimise delays and additional burdens for legitimate trade, while robustly ensuring compliance”.
– Medicines –
Britain will leave the European Medicines Agency but would continue to recognise batch testing and EU certifications to avoid the need for re-testing and disruptions to supplies.
Blood banks and manufacturers of blood products would continue to conform to EU requirements, while EU laws on organs and tissues are being incorporated into British law, it said.
Brexit minister Dominic Raab said Britain would also stockpile medicine for an extra six weeks on top of the current level of three months to avoid any disruption.
– Humanitarian aid –
In the event of disruption, the British government would fund post-Brexit programmes currently funded by the EU “where a UK organisation is the lead consortium partner or sole implementer”.
Dominic Raab says he is not expecting a no-deal outcome with the EU on Brexit
– On tobacco –
Britain’s domestic laws regulating the industry would replace stringent EU rules following Brexit.
Among the impacts: it would need to introduce new picture warnings on tobacco products “as the copyright for the existing picture library is owned by the European Commission.”