Brexit brief: London mayor Khan consults disaster planners over no deal

London mayor Sadiq Khan
London mayor Sadiq Khan

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has asked the organisation that deals with militant attacks and disasters in the British capital to assess the impact of a no-deal Brexit on access to medicines and food and on law and order.

Khan, pictured, said he would consult the London Resilience Forum, which plans responses to disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire, about the implications for Britain of leaving without a deal, saying that such a “catastrophic” outcome looked more likely than ever.

Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019, and with time running out to secure agreement on future ties, both British and European politicians are warning of the increased chances of a no-deal Brexit.

Khan criticised the lack of engagement by the UK government with companies. The government will start sending out advice to firms about a ‘no-deal’ scenario in August and September.

“Even ministers now admit that crashing out of the EU with no deal is now more likely than ever,” Khan said in a statement. “We are now left with no choice but to plan for a no-deal scenario.”

Meanwhile Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told ITV News in an interview that leaving the EU in a “messy, ugly divorce” would be a mistake that Britain would “regret for generations”, although he tweeted last Friday to clarify that he believed Britain would “survive and prosper without a deal”.


Fitch warns it could downgrade UK again

Ratings agency Fitch has said there is a growing risk a bitter and economically damaging Brexit could lead to a further downgrade of Britain’s sovereign credit rating.

“We no longer believe it is appropriate to identify a specific base case,” Fitch said in an update on its views on how Brexit might affect Britain’s economy and public finances. “An acrimonious and disruptive ‘no deal’ Brexit is a material and growing possibility,” it said. Previously Fitch had assumed Britain would leave the EU in March next year with a transition deal in place and the outline of a future trade deal with the bloc. However Theresa May is struggling to get her own party to support her proposed Brexit deal, while the EU has raised objections to key parts of her plan, suggesting it will seek more concessions.


Duncan Smith hits out at ‘jittery’ markets

Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of Theresa May’s Conservative Party and a leading Brexiteer, has urged investors to calm down as he accused financial markets of overreacting to negative forecasts in the run-up to Britain leaving the EU.

He said economic experts, including Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, have been proved repeatedly wrong on the impact of Brexit and insisted that the fundamentals of the UK are strong — though he also acknowledged it’s “impossible to predict how things go” as Britain negotiates with the EU and becomes the first country to quit the bloc.

“The markets themselves have got to be a bit more responsible about constantly panicking, jumping and being jittery,” Duncan Smith told Bloomberg TV. “It will eventually get settled. The economy is more robust than people give it credit for.”


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