Guidance for businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no deal scenario can be found on the UK Government’s exit guidance website, www.gov.uk/EUExit. Now more information is available in the form of a paper which summarises the Government’s activity to prepare for no deal as a contingency plan; and provides an assessment of the implications of a no deal exit for trade and for businesses, given the preparations that have been made.

The paper explains that leaving the European Union without a deal on 29 March would have a variety of effects on business, trade and the economy, and despite government mitigation, the impact of a 'no deal' scenario is expected to be significant in a number of areas.

The paper points out: “While some of this is inherent to a scenario where the UK does not have any agreements with the EU, or with other countries and organisations with which the UK currently has deals through EU membership; in other cases it would be caused by the abrupt nature of the transition, and the late stage at which many parties are starting their preparations.” The paper also addresses issues in relation to Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.”

The Government points out that, although it has been accelerating its preparations for a no deal scenario since September, with a particular emphasis since December 2018, the short time remaining before 29 March 2019 does not allow Government to unilaterally mitigate the effects of no deal. It concludes: “Even where it can take unilateral action, the lack of preparation by businesses and individuals is likely to add to the disruption experienced in a no deal scenario.”