Peter Foster @pmdfoster Europe Editor of the Daily Telegraph. Formerly based in Washington DC, Beijing and New Delhi. Opinions my own. Jul. 28, 2019 2 min read

So. Co-ordinated “we’re really, serious” about ‘no deal’ #brexit in papers this am. Is it believable? Or for show?

For EG @ShippersUnbound report saying @michaelgove will chair daily committee to deliver...and @sajidjavid saying money is no object...but is money the issue? 1/

Time is more important constraint than money...with less than 100 days to Brexit.

What about those 500 border guards? This notice about how long it takes to train a guard (a year to recruit, three to fully train) gives an idea. /2

Because money doesn’t always help.

A year ago HM Treasury made £8m available for training on customs processes, but understand take-up very limited.

This is probably due to poor communications from give. But shows spending money can be harder than promising it. /3

A similar but great problem exists with business preps for trade with EU after a no deal.

Per @RHARichardB to me only about 40% of business that need them even have an EORI customs number - see this thread. /4

But let’s say, sake of argument, the @BorisJohnson “effect” works and everyone suddenly believes it’s a ‘no deal’ and tried to get act together?

That helps, they can go online, get registered and educated but then they need help. Customs clearance agents.../5

Like the Border Force agents they can’t be stood up overnight...or in 100 days...and I’m told that big logistics companies have said they don’t have capacity beyond helping existing clients. /6

Then there is the issue of stockpiling and warehouse space, which is in very short supply and - again - can’t be built in <100 days. /7

Time/bottleneck constraints aside - there is the issue of Northern Ireland, that damn stone on the Brexiteers shoe.

As I reported on Friday, you will need to legislate for Direct Rule... which @Jacob_Rees_Mogg was careful not to rule out. /8 

None of this is to even mention the major pieces of ‘No Deal’ preparation legalisation that has not been passed - on trade, financial services, immigration etc.

Look out for a new @instituteforgov report on this tomorrow AM by @jl_owen and co. /9

To be clear, none of the above prevents a ‘no deal’

Not clear Parliament can do this either, except by revoking Art 50.

None of it means no deal is the ‘end of the world’

But it means it will be a real mess. Economically. constitutionally.

Is that what they want? Mmm? Ends

You can follow @pmdfoster.


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