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Budget 2018: the Chancellor has revealed there is no plan for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit

Ian Baxter is chairman of Baxter Freight, a customer service driven logistics provider which employs over 60 staff from its Nottingham-headquarters in the UK. Baxter Freight relies on trading with the European Union specialising in helping companies find logistics solutions using its experience and network of long-term relationships.

On the day of the Budget (29th October 2018), Ian shares his views on whether the Chancellor will need to call another Budget if we end up with a no-deal Brexit.    

“What we have learned from the Chancellor’s Budget announcement is that he really isn’t planning on a no deal Brexit which may be the biggest thing to cheer of all his announcements! Nor does the Government have an adequate plan to deal with the directly foreseeable consequences of leaving the Customs Union whether in March or at the end of a transition period. Let me be clear: both of these scenarios would have significant and negative consequences for British business and the Public Finances. If the Government believes there is any real prospect of either happening then we will need a plan to deal with them.

“If we were to end up with a ‘no deal’ Brexit this would require a completely new Budget announcement and economic forecast from the Government. Today’s £500m no deal funding, £2.2billion Brexit funding or £15 billion Brexit contingency would not touch the sides of the problem. As well as emergency funding for HMRC’s customs capacity we would need to provide support for the implications for business which might face shutdowns (at least temporarily) of huge production lines and laying off staff from the likes of Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover – just some of the multinational corporations with large parts of their manufacturing in the UK – as well as significant extra costs of doing their day-to-day business.

“Of course, the obvious reason the Chancellor hasn’t revealed the true cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit to the UK is that letting the EU know this truth wouldn’t help our negotiating position at this crucial stage. Regardless of the type of deal negotiated, we need to be prepared for all Brexit eventualities. In practical terms, this means training more customs officers and building up HMRC’s IT capacity and physical infrastructure at the UK’s borders. So, whilst the final Brexit outcome is unclear, we are yet to see a tangible commitment to urgent investment in these areas. We can only hope the Government ends up getting a deal which makes such preparations unnecessary.” 

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