Concerns grow over impact of a Brexit no deal
A series of British government reports as well as studies by various interest groups has painted an alarming picture of the consequences of leaving the European Union without a deal in place.
These gloomy predictions have previously been downplayed or dismissed by Brexiteers and members of the government as doomsday scenarios that need to be planned for but are unlikely to happen.
However, as the withdrawal date looms in March next year and with absolutely no sense that an agreement is imminent, particularly after Theresa May's humiliation in Salzburg last week when her Chequers plan was comprehensively rebuffed, people are beginning to pay much more attention to the implications of a no deal Brexit.
As Jeremy Corbyn put it yesterday ahead of a meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier: ''Crashing out of Europe with no deal risks being a national disaster.''
Certainly, the impact could be enormous and detrimental and affect many aspects of everyday life.
The head of Ireland's aviation authority this week warned that flights between the UK and the Republic could be grounded if there is no deal as the air traffic management and safety regulations that currently govern the UK and the rest of Europe fall away.
This is just one practical example. There have been warnings about possible power cuts, disruption to the supply of food, medicines and industrial material among other things.
These are short term issues but there are also concerns over the status of European arrest warrants, access to healthcare abroad and even changes to mobile phone charges.
Clearly, the fallout in economic terms from a no deal Brexit could be severe and far-reaching.
It is reported that the EU is now stepping up its preparations for a no deal, which suggests this scenario is being considered as a very real possibility.
Mrs May has said that no deal is better than a bad deal. Many people on this island will rightly fear that no deal will be a very bad deal indeed.