Britain must start planning for a no-deal Brexit
SIR – I strongly agree with Daniel Hannan (Comment, October 1): Britain should start preparing now – openly and in a concrete fashion – for the possibility that we may not reach a mutually acceptable deal with the EU over Brexit.
Some, here and across the Channel, may choose to characterise such actions as showing that we either do not want a deal or that the Government has no confidence in its negotiating team. Some may even suggest that it is a form of threat.
Let them. The public war of words will not have a lasting effect on this country; what will negatively affect our long-term interests is being ill-prepared for the future.
The Government cannot say with certainty what the outcome of the current discussions will be. If it follows Mr Hannan’s advice, however, it can assure people and businesses that, whatever that outcome, Britain can continue to function. Linda Walton
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire SIR – The admirable Christopher Booker (Last Word, October 1) is missing two important points about future trading with the EU.
Without a Free Trade Agreement, this works through Mutual Recognition Agreements. The EU has these with many countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan and the US.
To avoid the paper mountain delays on cross-border trade which Mr Booker fears, countries register as Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs). Presently, registration comes to Britain through the EU. But the AEO system is not in the gift of the EU – it’s arranged by the World Customs Organisation, administered here by HMRC, so it is to them that we shall turn for continuation of the present customs arrangements.
Furthermore, under the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, the EU must provide for electronic presubmission of customs documents – a full legal obligation it can’t avoid. Rob White London N3