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Lords EU Committee write to DExEU Minister to express concerns over Brexit ‘no deal' preparations

The House of Lords EU Committee has today written to DExEU Minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP, highlighting concerns over the Government's no deal planning and casting doubt on the possibility of a ‘managed no deal'.

The letter comes after yesterday's rejection by the House of Commons of the Government's proposed deal with the EU.

The Committee's letter follows its scrutiny of the Government and European Commission papers setting out their planning for a no deal Brexit. In light of the continued political impasse in the House of Commons, it expresses surprise that the Minister continues to assert that no deal is an unlikely event and asks Mr Heaton-Harris to explain the basis for his confidence. The letter also criticises the Government for repeated late tabling of relevant documentation analysing the Commission's proposals.

The Committee asks the Minister whether a ‘managed no deal' as advocated by some members of the Government must now be ruled out as the European Commission has made clear it views no deal preparations as a series of individual unilateral measures rather than a bilateral agreement between the UK and the EU. The letter asks how the Government will attempt to persuade the European Commission to move to working collectively with the UK on no deal planning rather than taking forward preparations separately.

The Committee also asks the Government to clarify the implications for Gibraltar of the Commission's announcement that its no deal preparations will not apply in that case.

The full text of the letter, sent by Lord Boswell, Chair of the House of Lords EU Committee can be found online here.

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