The House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee has published a report following its inquiry on the implications for the UK if the two year negotiating period mandated by Article 50 ends with no withdrawal agreement in place.

In its conclusions and recommendations the Committee states:

“The possibility of ‘no deal’ is real enough to justify planning for it. The Government has produced no evidence, either to this inquiry or in its White Paper, to indicate that it is giving the possibility of ‘no deal’ the level of consideration that it deserves, or is contemplating any serious contingency planning. This is all the more urgent if the Government is serious in its assertion that it will walk away from a “bad” deal. Last year, we concluded that the previous Government’s decision not to instruct key Departments to plan for a ‘leave’ vote in the EU referendum amounted to gross negligence. Making an equivalent mistake would constitute a serious dereliction of duty by the present Administration.

The Government should require each Department to produce a ‘no deal’ plan, outlining the likely consequences in their areas of remit and setting out proposals to mitigate potential risks. Such preparation would strengthen the Government’s negotiating hand by providing credibility to its position that it would be prepared to walk away from a bad deal.

View Article 50: ‘Dereliction of duty’ to fail to plan for ‘no deal’, 12 March 2017

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