Brexit no-deal scenario would be a disaster
The first raft of documents from the British government on the consequences of a no-deal Brexit make alarming reading and provide further evidence that the full implications of leaving the EU were never properly thought through.
Thanks to the failure of the British government to get a grip on this issue or to stand up to the Brexiteers in the Tory party, we are now staring at the possibility of the UK crashing out of Europe at the end of March next year with no agreement in place.
Extreme Brexit supporters who seem eager for this scenario will find it much more challenging to make their case after the potential impact of a no-deal was outlined by Dominic Raab yesterday.
Essentially, the Brexit secretary is warning that consumers, public services and businesses will face a series of difficulties that will affect everyday issues including pensions, credit card payments, the receipt of parcels and even access to medicines.
In particular, firms are told to be prepared for a sharp increase in red tape, with extra logistical and financial hurdles over VAT and customs arrangements.
All this is worrying enough but it is the government's cavalier approach towards people on this island that is absolutely astonishing.
According to Mr Raab, businesses involved in cross-border trade are told to ''consider whether you will need advice from the Irish government about preparations you need to make.''
This is a remarkable statement which effectively means that in the event of a no-deal, the British government will abandon its responsibilities with regard to firms in Northern Ireland.
There are further papers still to come on the preparations for a no-deal scenario but what we have seen so far simply reinforces the view that such an outcome would be disastrous.
Mr Raab and other members of the British government insist that a deal can be done, but time is running out.
The deluded individuals who believe the UK should just crash out of the EU need to take a reality check.