A Brexit no-deal will be seen at the border, with risks of queues, food shortages, new troubles in Northern Ireland, even tit for tat economic sniping with the EU, an academic report warns.
And if the UK proceeds with the UK Internal Market Bill, the EU is less likely to put in place ways of easing the impact air and road transport.
There is a risk each side might seek to maximise economic damage to the other in retaliation!UK in a Changing Europe: What would no deal mean?
The report finds that no deal will mean hassle for British citizens wishing to visit the continent. They will need an international driving permit and green card to drive or take a car abroad.
European Health Insurance Cards will no longer be valid, so travel insurance will be needed, making it more expensive or difficult for older travellers, or those with pre-existing conditions.
No deal will also mean no agreement on all transport; no agreement on fishing and no agreement on security and judicial co-operation.
Covid-19 may obscure the full impact. In the short run no deal will be bad news for a UK recovery, and eventually more damaging than Covid-19 up to two to three times the Bank of England’s forecast for the impact of Covid-19.
The UK Internal Market Bill will make a no-deal outcome considerably more difficult in Northern Ireland.
The Protocol ensured that, even if there was no UK–EU deal, there would be no physical border on the island of Ireland. If the UK rejects the Protocol it is likely to cause significant political turbulence.
In many respects, the outcomes of a no-deal scenario are close to the deal the prime minister wants, the report claims. Any deal, both sides accept, will cover little more than tariff and quota-free access for most goods.
Consequently, deal or no deal, there will be disruption on New Year’s Day with customs checks, red tape, an end to mutual recognition for products and services – both ways.
Other impacts of no deal include:
- further straining relations between the devolved governments and the UK government
- making police co-operation harder due to loss of access to EU databases
- disruption to parts of the economy that have been resilient to Covid-19, not least food supply chains.
Professor Anand Menon, director of the UK in a Changing Europe, said: “While the prime minister said no deal is a ‘good outcome’ our report shows that it may lead to significant disruption and will have a significant negative economic impact.
“As significant will be the political fallout of no deal, particularly with the UK and EU, but also inside the UK, particularly Northern Ireland, and internationally too.”
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