The last week of July 2019 saw the publication of reports by the Institute for Government think tank  (IfG)   and the Confederation of British Industry business body (CBI) respectively on UK preparations for a "no deal" Brexit.

In addition, Michael Gove , the Government minister charged by the new Boris Johnson administration with leading the UK preparations for a "no deal" Brexit, wrote an Article for "the Sunday Times" of 28th July 2019, in which he said:-

      "...Planning for no deal is now this government's No 1 priority...".

The CBI report included some 200 recommendations on how best to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit.

The IfG report highlighted the importance of prioritising what needs to be done by the UK Government before Brexit day ( currently, 11pm UK time on 31st October 2019) to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit and also what needs to be done after Brexit day to give the UK the best possible chance to succeed in its new environment.

Pre-Brexit, the IfG counsels that "the whole of government must shift onto a no-deal footing" in the knowledge that there is truly no such thing as a "managed no deal" after Brexit . Unless and until the UK and the EU agree otherwise ( which could take a long time), the UK and the EU would go their own ways on Brexit and only be likely to  put in place the unilateral measures which would serve the interests of their own respective constituencies.

There is concern about the levels of legal uncertainty that a "no deal" Brexit would  create in the UK since not all the necessary legislation is likely to be in place to cope with its consequences. Perhaps, however, the last word on the subject should be left with the newly appointed troubleshooter -in-chief, Michael Gove, who in his "Sunday Times" article concluded with the following rousing sentiments:-

"...The entire machinery of government will work to help to ensure our businesses will be ready, our factories will be ready, our hospitals will be ready - and the British people will  be ready.

We will be ready because we are not approaching this task with an attitude of business as usual . We are taking tough decisions  and challenging conventional wisdom, so that we can deliver on the will of the British people...." 

The current  UK Government strategy seems to be to counter Project Fear with good humour and smiles. One hopes that this optimism is both justified and not being expressed through gritted teeth.                                                                                                                                        +