UK Cabinet considers no-deal Brexit

TNN Bureau. Updated: 12/18/2018 9:01:30 PM World

London, Dec 18 (IANS) The British cabinet met to discuss whether to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid uncertainty over the fate of Theresa May's proposed EU exit deal on Tuesday.

With 101 days left until Brexit and many MPs still opposed to the government's withdrawal agreement, ministers met for two and a half hours -- for a longer-then-usual cabinet meet, the BBC reported.

Although they were focusing on preparing, in case of the UK leaving the EU in March without a negotiated deal with the EU, a no-deal Brexit is thought to be opposed by a majority of MPs.

Ministers were hearing how much money each department was being given to prepare, should the UK leave the EU on March 29 without a formal agreement, the BBC reported.

MPs will not vote on the May's deal until the third week in January.

Labour, which has tabled a Motion of No Confidence, has accused May of trying to "run down the clock".

Number 10 Downing Street, though, has dismissed the motion, which was unlikely to be debated until early 2019, as "silly political games", the BBC report said.

A cross-party group of 60 MPs have written to May, saying it would do "unnecessary economic damage".

In the autumn of 2017, The Treasury earmarked three billion pound for 'no deal' planning.

In March, Chancellor Philip Hammond said half of that had been allocated to 20 government departments, with the Home Office, transport, the environment and business among the largest recipients.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that he had ordered full 'no deal' planning across the National Health Service.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire told the BBC that there would be "consequences" of a no-deal exit but "a lot of work" was going into minimising the disruption if it happened.

"We have been taking 'no deal' seriously for quite some considerable period. It's not what we want to do, it's not what we still expect to do... but I think it is right and proper that we maintain our work on preparing for no deal, however reluctantly."


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