Labour’s Keir Starmer has warned that Theresa May and her government will be facing a race against time to pass a number of new laws, or they may risk creating an ‘unsustainable legal vacuum’ if Britain end up leaving the EU without a deal. However last week Dominic Raab insisted that the government does have the legislation in place to be able to cope, if Britain is forced to leave in March 2019 without a withdrawal agreement.
“Our laws will be on the statute book, the staff will be in place, the teams will be in post and our institutions will be ready for Brexit – deal, or no deal,” the Brexit secretary said.
Theresa May has also said that a ‘no deal’ Brexit ‘wouldn’t be the end of the world’, despite the fact that her chancellor’s warning that this type of outcome will only seriously damage the economy. The chancellor claimed the GDP could fall and borrowing could be around £80 billion a year higher by 2033/34 if Britain resorted to World Trade Organisation terms.
The Prime Minister has rejected fears over leaving the EU without an agreement after after Philip Hammond was accused of launching another “project fear” with his claims last week. Theresa May has also added that the government has made efficient plans and measures to ensure they can still make it a success if it’s a no deal but still maintained that it was possible to agree to a good deal.
Theresa May sad: “I think it’s absolutely right that the Government is putting the preparations in place for no deal because we don’t know what the outcome of this is going to be. But alongside that what we’re doing is working for a good deal. I believe what we’ve set out in the Chequers arrangement, set out in the white paper is a deal that benefits not just the United Kingdom but benefits the European Union as well.”
But Labour’s analysis suggests new legislation would have to be passed hastily in four key policy areas:
- EU citizens’ rights.
- Immigration rules for EU travellers entering Britain.
- Criminals held under the European arrest warrant.
- The Irish border.
The government has been promising an immigration bill but has yet to even publish a white paper.
Labour’s Keir Starmer has said the government: “barely scratched the surface” of what would need to be done to prepare the UK for a no-deal scenario, and there was a serious risk of an “unsustainable legal vacuum”.
The withdrawal agreement with the EU is intended to allow for most existing laws and institutions to remain in place during a transitional period of almost two years, while the government negotiates the details of its future trading relationship with the EU.