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UK warns of higher costs if Brexit talks fail

Higher charges on international credit card payments. Extra taxes on parcels from Europe. More red tape for ...

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 7:38 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 7:38 PM

Higher charges on international credit card payments. Extra taxes on parcels from Europe. More red tape for hospitals that import blood or organs for transplant.

These are some of the potential consequences the United Kingdom will face if it crashes out of the European Union without a deal on trade, according to notices published Thursday by the UK government.

"I remain confident a good deal is within our sights, and that remains our top, and overriding, priority," said Brexit secretary Dominic Raab. "But, we must be ready to consider the alternative."

Companies have been asking for guidance from the government since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.

"Businesses have waited too long for answers to some basic questions around Brexit ... 'no deal' preparations should have happened far earlier," said Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

The 24 documents published by the UK government cover areas including banking, medicine, farm subsidies, organic food production, nuclear power and science research funding. In many cases, the government warned that businesses would face more red tape and higher costs.

UK customs officials have estimated that filing new trade declarations would cost businesses up to £20 billion ($26 billion) per year.

The British pound took a hit after the documents were published, falling 0.75% against the dollar to $1.28. Around 50 more notices will be published before the end of September.

Changes to bank accounts and pensions

The scope of the documents show that almost every aspect of life and business in the United Kingdom would be impacted by a messy Brexit.

The notices warn that people living outside the United Kingdom may be unable to access their bank accounts in the country. British retirees living in Europe may also lose access to their UK pensions.

Businesses might need to buy new software or hire customs experts to manage new custom policies, and cigarette manufacturers will need to change their packaging because the current health warning labels are copyrighted by the European Union.

Stockpiling medicines

The government also advised pharmaceutical companies to stockpile an additional six weeks supply of medicine in the United Kingdom to ensure there is no disruption after Brexit.

The European Union published its own guidance on the potential consequences earlier this year.

The slow pace of Brexit negotiations has heightened fears in recent months that Britain may leave the European Union in March without a transition deal to keep it temporarily in the bloc's single market and customs union.

Without a deal, hundreds of agreements governing the way businesses operate and trade will be void. The UK government said Thursday that companies exporting goods to the European Union would face steep new tariffs.

Even if no deal is struck, the UK government said it would continue to follow European Union rules in most areas in hopes of achieving a smooth transition out of the bloc.

But analysts warn that crashing out of the European Union would have dire consequences for the United Kingdom, which would be treated by the European Union as a third country.

The British government said it would continue to accept medicines tested in the European Union without additional checks, for example. But it has no say over what would happen to medicines produced in the United Kingdom and exported to the European Union.

Raab said the UK government has 7,000 people working on Brexit, and it plans to recruit another 9,000.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
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Washington3179107
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Lowndes237364
Panola222350
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Marshall217250
Leflore205590
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Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
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Simpson148353
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Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
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Calhoun75513
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Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
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Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
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Jackson320423
Colbert311942
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Coffee245415
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Russell22193
Covington218934
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Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
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Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
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