Cross-border trade to ‘virtually stop’ after ‘no-deal’
An official UK Government document, seen by some of the cabinet, warns that cross-border agri-food trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will “virtually stop” on the day a no-deal Brexit takes effect.
The document, which was obtained by Sky News, is divided into three sections, detailing what the effects of a no-deal crash out will be on the ‘First Day’, ‘First Fortnight’ and ‘First Month’.
According to Sky News, the document was marked: “Official sensitive – For Discussion – Not Government Policy”, indicating that the document has not been agreed on by ministers.
The document says: “Northern Ireland – [cross] border trade virtually stops, other trade slows.”
In the ‘First Day’ category, it is also explained that trade and passenger flows from the EU generally will be slower getting in to the UK, and that volatility of the pound sterling and financial markets will occur.
Looking at the ‘First Fortnight’, and the document predicts that there will be potential consumer panic and food shortages in the UK, while the county’s economy will continue to be volatile.
EXC: On Sky News now: we’ve obtained a “sensitive” internal Whitehall slide which makes sober reading about the first month of a no deal brexit. It warns of
– “consumer panic”
– “law and order challenges” in NI
– security gaps
– Brits abroad return
Produced before BJ became PM pic.twitter.com/2liueLqqeE
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) 1 August 2019
And after the ‘First Month’, the document says that small businesses in Northern Ireland will face distress, and that there may even be “potential law and order challenges”.
Sky News reports that this may be the first time that the “worst-case scenarios” have been outlined in the one document. It appears to have been prepared in final weeks of Theresa May’s tenure as prime minister, it is reported.