1. Billions spent on preparation
The Treasury this week announced a further £2.1bn in to get the country ready; it said the money would be used to “accelerate preparations at the border, support business readiness and ensure the supply of critical medicines.”
Labour called the plan “an appalling waste of tax-payers’ cash. This government could have ruled out no deal, and spent these billions on our schools, hospitals, and people.”
In December, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said he had “become the world’s No 1 buyer of fridges” as part of a plan to stockpile essential medicines.
2. Lorry queues at Dover may back up to Maidstone or beyond
Simulations by Imperial College and planning by Highways England have both forecast immobile freight traffic for tens of miles along the M20 caused by delays at Dover. Kent county council said last year this would lead to gridlocked and rubbish-strewn streets, unburied bodies and children unable to take exams.
3. Economic growth will take a hit of nearly 10%
The government’s own forecasts say that growth over the next 15 years without a deal will be 9.3% lower than it would otherwise have been.
4. Some major industries will be hamstrung
The example of how a crankshaft for a new Mini is made shows how car parts can cross the English Channel multiple times during the manufacturing process. Tariffs on these partial exports and imports, and delays to “just-in-time” production processes would make British factories much less appealing to carmakers.
5. UK exporters face annual tariff costs of more than £6bn
Guardian analysis showed that under WTO rules, British exports to the EU would be hit by tariffs of £6bn (roughly two-thirds of Britain’s net contributions). Imports were also likely to be affected, increasing the cost of living in the UK; and that is without taking into account recent falls in the value of the pound sterling.