What do the Government's ‘no deal’ Brexit plans mean for pubs?

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Contingency plans: the Government is issuing advice in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit
Contingency plans: the Government is issuing advice in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit
Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has outlined “practical and proportionate” advice in case the UK leaves the European Union without a deal on 29 March 2019.

Titled “UK Government's preparations for a 'no-deal' scenario”, the document states: “While progress has been significant and we remain confident that a positive deal can be achieved, until both the UK Government and the European Union sign a withdrawal agreement and it is ratified by the UK parliament and the European parliament, there remains a possibility that we may leave the EU without a deal in March 2019.”

Some of the changes in day-to-day finance brought about by a ‘no-deal’ scenario highlighted in the published papers include changes to VAT rules if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal and the likely increase in credit card payment costs.

Moreover, the impact on trade and business is expected to extend to changes in import tariffs and customs checks, the application of customs and excise rules to UK goods received by the EU and payment of VAT and import duties by UK companies for EU goods.

Britons in the EU could lose access to pensions and disruption is anticipated across the agricultural supply chain.

The papers highlight that Britain will create a financial regulator “general transitional tool” to ease the impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​ on 21 August, two days prior to the ‘no-deal’ papers’ publication, JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin refuted claims that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would push up food prices​.

‘Small measure of reassurance’

Kate Nicholls of UKHospitality commented: “A 'no-deal' Brexit would cause serious problems for many UK businesses, not least in the hospitality sector. 

“These initial announcements will provide some small measure of reassurance, but we need to see the rest of the proposals and a great deal more detail on how the Government proposes to mitigate the impacts of a no-deal exit. 

“There are still major concerns about food and drink imports upon which hospitality businesses rely to a large degree and we still need substantially more clarity on the exact terms for current EU citizens as well as an idea of what the future immigration system will look like. 

“We will be looking forward to the future publications for more certainty and detail and, hopefully, proactive plans for support of the hospitality sector in any Brexit scenario.” 

'More to be done'

Andy Tighe, policy director at the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), commented: "The Government’s Brexit guidance papers published underline our view that a no-deal Brexit should be avoided.

"It is important that a deal with the EU is negotiated to prevent significant upheaval and additional costs to companies operating across the beer and pub industry.

"There is clearly more to be done to ensure that businesses can be prepared for all eventualities, and we will work closely with the Government to ensure that disruption is minimised.

“A deal with the EU is also needed to prevent significant disruption across the agricultural-supply chain which is vital to the British brewing industry.

"We are reassured to note that the Government has confirmed that employees’ workplace rights will be largely unchanged if there is a no-deal Brexit outcome.”

‘UK Government's preparations for a 'no deal' scenario’ can be found in full here​.

Related topics: Legislation

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