Dominic Raab to meet Michel Barnier as EU and UK step up 'no deal' Brexit preparations

Posted On: 
19th July 2018

Dominic Raab will hold talks in Brussels with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the pair's first meeting since he was appointed Brexit Secretary.

Dominic Raab will visit Brussels to meet counterpart Michel Barnier
Credit: 
PA Images

Mr Raab will pick up the baton after succeeding David Davis, who resigned last week in protest at Theresa May's approach to Brexit.

The talks come as Brussels ramps up preparations for a “no deal” outcome in light of the Government's white paper, with the European Commission's secretary general, Martin Selmayr, said to be ready to circulate its own paper among member states spelling out the consequences.

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The BBC, which has seen the document, says disruption to the aviation industry and goods from the UK being subject to custom checks are among the concerns laid out.

The Guardian reports that the EU’s team, led by Mr Barnier’s deputy, Sabine Weyand, has already begun unpicking parts of the UK's paper after it was presented by Permanent Secretary Olly Robbins.

“The white paper is not going to form the basis of the negotiations,” one senior EU diplomat told the paper.

A UK source however insisted the plans include “sensible mitigations to alleviate some of the worst imaginings that some people have”.

It comes as Theresa May yesterday confirmed Mr Raab’s department would begin issuing advice to businesses on how to prepare for a no deal outcome in Britain.

The plans include publishing 70 documents explaining how it would affect a wide range of sectors, in a signal of Britain’s readiness to walk away from a bad deal.

The PM meanwhile will visit the border with Ireland today where she will meet businesses, before delivering a speech in Belfast tomorrow.

Eslsewhere The Times reports that the PM is gearing up for a national tour in a bid to win backing for her Brexit plans from Conservative associations.

The Prime Minister is said to have endured a “tense” week of meetings with local party heads amid major scepticism of her Chequers plans.

However the revelation comes as MP Simon Clarke withdrew his letter of no confidence in the PM at the backbench 1922 Committee following days of bitter in-fighting