British government to activate full 'no-deal' Brexit preparations

Pro-Brexit supporters

British Prime Minister Theresa May says postponed Brexit vote will be held week of January 14

The cabinet has chose to "ramp up" preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid uncertainty over the fate of Theresa May's proposed European Union exit deal.

"The prime minister has obdurately refused to ensure a vote took place on the date she agreed, she refuses to allow a vote to take place this week and is now, I assume, thinking the vote will be on January 14 - nearly a month away".

If there is no Brexit deal, these will apply from 29 March until the end of 2019 at the latest.

Some 3,500 troops will be on standby to help deal with any disruptions, ranging from emergency engineering work to shortage of supplies such as medicines.

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said it amounted to "psychological warfare".

British business groups have criticised politicians for focusing on in-fighting rather than preparing for Brexit, warning that there is not enough time to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

"Cabinet also agreed to recommend businesses now also ensure they are similarly prepared, enacting their own no-deal plans as they judge necessary", Ms May's spokesman said.

Updated Revenue and Customs information packs will be sent to firms later this week, setting out what changes could be needed at the border.

"Citizens should also prepare in line with the technical notices issued in the summer and in line with further more detailed advice that will now be issued over the coming weeks".

"But what are doing is putting contingency plans in place, and what we will do is have 3,500 service personnel held at readiness, including regulars and reserves, in order to support any government department on any contingencies they may need".

About 10 percent of the force would be reservists who will receive their call up papers in the middle of January so that if needed they would be ready in March.

Manchester United sack Mourinho after loss against Liverpool, abysmal start to season
Mourinho lasted for 2 years at United and won two titles, the English League Cup and the Europa League in his first season. In our jobs then that can be very expensive for the clubs. "That I'm sure is the same ambition of everyone at the club".

"I believe that politics is stuck and when politics and the political establishment is stuck, in our system the only way to unlock it is to go back to the people in the hope that we get a clear instruction from the British population", he said.

Whitehall departments have identified some 320 workstreams on no-deal preparations, with each likely to involve a number of individual plans.

United Kingdom chancellor Philip Hammond has set aside £2bn for potential spending on Brexit preparations and the prime minister's spokesperson said on Monday this fund would be allocated "shortly".

"Theresa May is irresponsibly trying to run down the clock so that the only option is to support her discredited deal", Sir Vince Cable said.

Corbyn's move was symbolic: Losing the vote on such a motion would increase the pressure on May, but unlike a non-confidence vote in the government as a whole, it wouldn't trigger a process that could lead to an election.

On Monday night, the Labour leader tabled a motion calling on MPs to declare they have no confidence in the prime minister because she failed to have a vote on her Brexit deal straight away.

A Downing Street source said: "We won't allow time for what is a stunt". However, Corbyn has chose to go through with the no confidence motion, as the vote is not soon enough.

He also said the plan would not commit to reducing net immigration below 100,000 people a year - a longstanding goal of the Conservative government that it has never come close to meeting.

The announcement came after the Prime Minister survived a no-confidence vote from her own party last week.

And in signs of further division, Mrs Leadsom said a second referendum would be "unacceptable" - hours after Amber Rudd suggested there was a "plausible argument" for the public to be asked to vote again on Brexit if MPs remain deadlocked. "I am not going to repeat the exercise", he told Today.

Fears of a no-deal departure have been heightened by widespread parliamentary opposition to May's EU withdrawal plan, brokered after months of arduous negotiations with her European counterparts.

Latest News