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Analysis

‘Selective snippets’? Raab must get real on no-deal chaos

by Luke Lythgoe | 23.07.2018

Is the UK stockpiling food in case there’s no Brexit deal? Will the M26 be turned, at least in part, into a lorry park to cope with delays at Dover? Dominic Raab refused to confirm or deny either on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, calling them “selective snippets” and saying they were “unhelpful”.

Just how many “selective snippets” do we need before the Brexit secretary is honest about the whole, terrible picture of a no-deal Brexit?

Raab also said it was “irresponsible” for the EU to warn that the rights of UK citizens living in the rest of the union would be up in the air if we crash out with no deal. Surely what would be irresponsible is to crash out with no deal.

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More unhelpful snippets made the news today:

  • “Civil unrest” within two weeks is part of Amazon’s contingency planning, according to The Times.
  • Food safety controls could be suspended to prevent perishable goods getting delayed at UK borders, reports the i newspaper. A possible side effect of that could be the EU refusing to accept our food exports.
  • Our farming sector could also be seriously hit by any extra tariffs arising from no deal, with warnings that this would be “catastrophic” for Welsh farmers ahead of the Royal Welsh Show this week.

It’s worth remembering that the government’s own analysis on a no-deal scenario, leaked to the Sunday Times last month, involved food shortages in some parts of the country within two days, hospitals running out of medicine in two weeks, fuel shortages and the Port of Dover collapsing on “day one”. And that was only the second-worst-case scenario.

Other things at risk include the open border in Ireland, the ability of planes to fly between the UK and the rest of Europe, and the rights of EU citizens in the UK – the legal basis for all of which could disappear overnight.

Raab keeps trailing his “technical notices” on no deal, expected to be sent to the public and businesses over the summer. They need to frank about the chaos Theresa May’s botched Brexit is inviting upon this country.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

3 Responses to “‘Selective snippets’? Raab must get real on no-deal chaos”

  • Jeremy Hunt, said in his first meeting with Heiko Maas the German Foreign Minister, that if we end up with a No Deal the British public would blame the EU. That is currently only a minority view, according to a recent poll. However, you can see the Government’s thinking. If most of the public come to see the EU as the guilty party, then the Brexit lobby can escape much of the blame. Even though the EU just want to defend the integrity of the success story which is the Single Market, and they did not initaite this crisis. Quite a cynical move from the Government, but not unexpected.

  • It is noticeable that the narrative is changing from Theresa May’s “good deal for the UK” to talk about crashing out of the EU without a deal and blaming it on the EU. What is Dominic Raab going to tell the CEO’s of AirBus, Siemens, Land Rover Jaguar, Nissan et al. “We are coming out of the EU, the cost of everything is going up, there are going to be difficulties getting parts and raw materials into the UK. But don’t worry we are British and we won the Battle of Britain in 1940 and gave Johnny Foreigner a bloody nose. So get on with it and stop whining”. That’s about the level the Government has sunk to.

  • Unfortunately the propensity of people to take responsibility for their own blunders usually is very low, and blaming the EU is the main way out. Apart from that, as far as the EU is concerned it is made to look like a greater majority than just 52% of the voting public is in fact behind the decision to walk away etc. so afterwards their decision to leave the UK stewing in its self-pride is that much easier to be taken. Dire situation indeed.