The government has published the first 25 of a series of technical papers on how the UK will be affected where on 29 March 2019 no deal with the EU has been reached.

The so-called “no deal” scenario is possible if the UK government and the EU cannot agree terms for the UK leaving the trading bloc.

The papers published today cover a range of issues from trade to agriculture, medicine to finance and explain how industry sectors may wish to plan for a no deal scenario. The notes include the following:

  • Credit and debit card charges between the UK and EU are likely to increase and will not be covered by the ban on surcharges
  • Businesses trading with the EU need to begin planning for new customs checks, and might have to acquire new software or logistical assistance
  • UK citizens living in Europe could lose access to UK banking and pension services without EU action

The government says a “no deal” scenario is one where the UK leaves the EU and becomes a third country at 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement and framework for a future relationship in place between the UK and the EU.

In some technical notices the government has set out how it would act unilaterally to provide continuity for a temporary period in a ‘no deal’ scenario to protect and minimise disruption for UK citizens and businesses, irrespective of whether the EU reciprocates.

The government says it will seek to do what it can to make the transition as smooth as possible and allow time to make significant changes.


  1. Overview
  2. Applying for EU-funded programmes
  3. Civil nuclear and nuclear research
  4. Farming
  5. Importing and exporting
  6. Labelling products and making them safe
  7. Money and tax
  8. Regulating medicines and medical equipment
  9. State aid
  10. Studying in the UK or EU
  11. Workplace rights

Our VAT Director has taken a closer look at the VAT and trading papers in this subsequent article.

The government says further papers will be published as the year progresses.

If you are a businesses that will be affected by a no deal Brexit, you can plan ahead by checking commercial terms with suppliers and customers to make sure they cover tariffs and customs issues. It will also be important to register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identifications number to ensure you can import and export after 29 March 2019.

Other issues to consider will be how to deal with import declarations, the classification of goods and their value and even customs warehousing.

If you would like to discuss the implications of these papers for your business, please contact a member of our Brexit team.

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