European Commission to warn member states to prepare for no-deal Brexit

First talks Mr Raab and Mr Barnier

According to a draft paper seen by the BBC, the European Commission has warned the EU27 to improve their preparations for a "no-deal" Brexit scenario.

That, the EU's executive European Commission insisted on Thursday, was not the reason for its warning on stepping up preparedness for a "no deal" or "cliff edge" Brexit.

Parliament voted 307 to 301 against an amendment to trade legislation that would have required the government to try to negotiate a customs union arrangement with the EU if, by January 21, 2019, it had failed to negotiate a frictionless free trade deal with the bloc.

The meeting comes as Tory former Cabinet minister Lord Chris Patten predicted there could be an emergency Brexit general election in the autumn.

Barnier told reporters: "On the withdrawal agreement it is a matter of urgency to agree to a legally applicable backstop on Ireland and Northern Ireland".

Manchester, a former UK Treasury official, said if Brussels does not deem a UK firm to be equivalent, British regulators could choose to "do our own thing", raising concerns about predictability for global financial firms.

"We would need to consider what action we would take in those circumstances", she added. "That means we will see something more like the negotiations between the European Union and USA, where we give and take on both sides", Manchester said.


"We have a prime minister who is in office, but not in power", he said. "Drawing up contingency plans for the worst possible outcome is not a sign of mistrust in the negotiations", writes the Commission publication, that consolidates a total of 68 notices to the private sector and stakeholders, eight of which are focusing on financial services.

"The situation in London is very volatile, the situation is very unclear, I think nobody can tell you what will be the political situation in the United Kingdom now".

May said talks had already started with Brussels based on the proposal, which was set down in a policy document last week, and referred to as "Chequers" for the prime minister's country residence where its terms were thrashed out. "And so I'm looking forward to intensifying heating up the negotiations", Mr Raab said.

The document was published ahead of the first meeting between European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the British government's new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab.

Jim Harra, of HM Customs and Excise, told the House of Lords EU External Affairs Committee that the additional cost would arise because traders would have to work out which of two different tariff rates they need to pay on each cross-border movement.

An EU source said all the negotiators sought a withdrawal agreement as the cost is "disproportionately high" without one.

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