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'Panic' and 'security gaps': Internal British document warns about impact of no-deal Brexit

Britain leaving the EU without a deal seems increasingly likely.

National Policing board Prime Minister Boris Johnson attending a National Policing Board meeting at the Home Office in London on Wednesday. Kirsty Wigglewsorth / PA Wire/PA Images Kirsty Wigglewsorth / PA Wire/PA Images / PA Wire/PA Images

AN INTERNAL BRITISH government document has warned that a no-deal Brexit could result in “consumer panic”, “security gaps” and “law and order challenges”.

The internal document predicts what a no-deal Brexit “could look like on the ground” in the first day, fortnight and month.

A no-deal scenario seems increasingly likely – the House of Commons rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal three times, and new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s has insisted that Britain will leave the European Union before the current deadline of 31 October.

The document, obtained by Sky News, was written in the weeks before Johnson succeeded May.

It states that British people living in EU countries may lose access to services and resident rights, prompting them to move home; the pound Sterling would likely fall; trade would be negatively impacted; and there could be an increased risk of people smuggling.

In relation to Northern Ireland, the first day following a no-deal Brexit could see cross-border agricultural trade virtually stop and other trade slow down. Within the first month, small businesses in Northern Ireland could face “distress and potential law and order challenges”, the document notes.

Contingency plans are being made at British, Irish and European level in a bid to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

‘We should be afraid’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday again warned about the likely negative implications of such a scenario. He said a no-deal Brexit “would have very serious impacts on the economy, north and south, and on Britain”.

“It could have security implications as well and it could have constitutional implications.

“In terms of fear, I think we should be afraid of a no-deal Brexit,” the Taoiseach said.

Johnson has claimed he can get a ‘better’ deal, last week stating: “The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts.

“The doubters, the doomsters and the gloomsters are going to get it wrong again … We are going to come out of the EU on October 31 – no ifs, no buts. We will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities.”

Many Conservative and DUP politicians have raised concerns about the backstop element of the Withdrawal Agreement, which aims to avoid a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland and could see the North stay aligned to some EU rules.

European leaders have repeatedly said that the deal cannot be renegotiated.

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