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British businesses 'watching in horror' as risk of no-deal Brexit ramps up

It is now 100 days until the UK is due to leave the EU.

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

BRITISH BUSINESSES HAVE warned that they are reaching the “point of no return” as they must put significant time and money into preparing for a no-deal Brexit as chaos continues to reign in Westminster.

“Businesses have been watching in horror as politicians have focused on factional disputes rather than practical steps,” the British Chambers of Commerce said in a statement this morning.

It comes as the UK is due to leave the EU in 100 days’ time.

The EU is set to announce a slew of notices today on how a Brexit no-deal will affect a range of sectors today, as preparations ramp up from the Europe-side.

These proposals could see the European Commission proposing legislation to ensure flights can still arrive in EU airports from the UK, even though a no-deal scenario would see Britain outside the single aviation space, RTÉ reported

Separately today, the British government is set to publish a series of planning notices on Brexit today, as parliament remains deadlocked with the vote on Theresa May’s deal with the EU not taking place until next month.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to announce a new skills-based immigration to “get control over our borders,” the BBC reported. The system would scrap the cap on high-skilled workers like doctors and engineers.

According to the Times of London, a document that was leaked to them indicate that the government is being told to prepare in the event of a no-deal for a rise in “homelessness, poverty and suicide”.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock told BBC Newsnight that there were plans to store six weeks of stockpiled medicines for the NHS in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Prime Minister May cancelled a vote in the House of Commons on her Brexit deal last week after it became clear it wouldn’t be passed by parliament. 

Pressed by the opposition this week, she said that it would now be held in January just a few weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU.

‘This is not where we should be’

In its statement, the British Chambers of Commerce expressed dismay at the looming possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

“With just 100 days to go, the suggestion that ‘no-deal’ can be ‘managed’ is not a credible proposition,” it said.

Businesses would face massive new customs costs and tariffs. Disruption at ports could destroy carefully built supply chains. From broadcasters, to insurance brokers, to our financial services – the UK’s world-leading services sector will be needlessly disadvantaged, and many professional qualifications will be unrecognised across the EU.

It called on MPs to listen to its constituents and ensure a deal is reached.

“This is not where we should be,” it added. “We hope that they will listen and remember that when they return to parliament, the future course of our economy will be in their hands.”

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Sean Murray

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