Government to launch no deal Brexit planning information campaign

The union flag colours projected onto 10 Downing Street

The union flag colours projected onto 10 Downing Street, to mark Brexit - Credit: PA

The government is to launch a fresh Brexit campaign warning businesses about the likeliness of no deal Brexit at the end of the year.

Downing Street's message over Brexit is to move from "let's get going" to "time is running out", with HMRC writing to more than 200,000 firms to set out the new customs and tax rules likely to come into force after the end of the transition period.

It follows a collapse in talks between the government and the European Union with negotiator Lord Frost telling Michel Barnier there was "no point" coming to London this week.

Announcing the no-deal campaign, Michael Gove said: "At the end of this year we are leaving the EU single market and customs union and this means there are both new challenges and new opportunities for businesses.

"Make no mistake, there are changes coming in just 75 days and time is running out for businesses to act.

MORE: Minister claims businesses have their 'head in the sands' over Brexit impact

"It is on all of us to put in the work now so that we can embrace the new opportunities available to an independent trading nation with control of its own borders, territorial waters and laws."

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Business secretary Alok Sharma added: "With just 75 days until the end of the transition period, businesses must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK's new start as an independent trading nation once more.

"There will be no extension to the transition period, so there is no time to waste. There will be a guaranteed set of changes for which businesses need to prepare for.

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"Businesses have a crucial role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, and the government will be there to support them through this change every step of the way."

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford criticised the news. He said: "With businesses facing more barriers, warnings of queues in lorry parks, potential disruption to supplies, and the double economic hit due to imposing Brexit in the middle of a pandemic - it will no doubt fill businesses with further concern that the UK government's latest campaign comes with the strapline of 'time is running out'.

"Businesses will be in despair at the UK government's extreme approach which risks inflicting further harm at a time when many are struggling to deal with the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

"It's clear beyond any doubt that only by becoming an independent country can we properly protect Scotland's interests and our place in Europe."

The last Brexit public information campaign was expected to cost taxpayers £93 million.

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