NI businesses told to contact Irish Government in event of no deal

Brexit news- Ian Payne and Tom Baldwin

But the hard topic of preventing the emergence of a policed border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is unresolved, with Britain rejecting the EU's plan to keep the British province in the bloc's customs union.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary said he was "cautiously hopeful" rather than "wildly hopeful" of securing a Brexit deal.

"It seems to have taken the British side a long time to understand what is at stake economically with Brexit", said Martin Wansleben, head of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer has faced claims of launching a "dodgy project fear" as inter-party tensions over Brexit erupted after he warned no deal could cause major economic damage.

"From border delays to extra bureaucracy and red tape, to United Kingdom citizens potentially losing access to their pensions, today's speech by Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was full of new information about a disastrous "no deal" Brexit that no-one could have known about at the time of the referendum", he said.

But Thursday's advisories about a no-deal Brexit - even after being reportedly softened by the government - still conjure up a lot of hassle, red tape, extra cost and dysfunction.

Around 80 technical notices are expected over the coming weeks, revealing the extent to which Britain has contingency plans in place.

The first 25 papers cover everything from financial services to nuclear materials.

"There are risks here but let's not have the risks blown out of proportion", he added.

Mr Hammond's comments in a letter to Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury Select Committee, emerged hours after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab attempted to play down the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit while outlining the impact of such a scenario via a series of technical papers. But if they can't and we end up in this position, then we have to reopen the question of whether we go forward with Brexit at all.

"The message that we are getting back is "We hope we get a deal", but we can't live on hope".

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act, passed by Parliament in June this year, also set the date of 29 March 2019 for the UK's withdrawal from the EU in statute. This could include deciding to follow the EU's medical regulatory framework to ensure a smooth supply.

For weeks, there has been a string of scary doomsday scenarios in the British press about what could happen if Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiators fail to reach agreement with Brussels on the country's exit from the European trading bloc next year.

It puts a key industry at risk, with financial services having contributed more than a quarter of the UK's services exports to the European Union, accounting for £27 billion out of £90 billion in 2016. Earlier this month trade minister Liam Fox put the chances at 60-40.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was set on Tuesday to once again warn that a Brexit with no deal could threaten the continent's unity for a generation, according to his office.

"If the publication of these documents is just a crude attempt by ministers to dress up the severe consequences of a no-deal Brexit as somehow acceptable, the whole exercise will be pointless", Starmer told BBC Radio.

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