Food label designers rejoice: If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union with no trade deal, British firms will be commissioning new nutrition and warning labels because the present ones belong to the EU.
The British government published today the first 25 of 80 planned technical notices designed to help businesses navigate a no-deal Brexit. The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU in March and trade talks have been rocky. If no deal emerges, the notices will serve as practical guides to matters ranging from labeling to financial services.
In the interim, the publication and a speech by U.K. Secretary of State Dominic Raab, may serve as a signal to both the EU and Brexit supporters that the U.K. is prepared to walk away from on-going talks if it doesn’t get what it wants, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“I am confident a good deal is within our sights,” Raab said in his speech, and he claimed that roughly 80% of the withdrawal is already agreed, with diplomats still working on how to handle the border between Ireland, which will still be an EU member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
“The overarching aim of the notices is to facilitate the smooth, continued, functioning of business, transport, infrastructure, research, aid programmes and funding streams that have previously come from the EU,” Raab said.
On medical testing, for example, Raab suggested that until the U.K. set up its own independent medical testing system it would accept batches of medicines already tested in an EU member state.
Raab also revealed that the government had budgeted £3 billion ($3.87 billion) for Brexit staffing and expenses.
The EU, meantime, already had published 68 preparedness notices guiding citizens and businesses on Brexit possibilities.