Brexit news – live: Potential for border ‘catastrophe’, MPs warn as talks go down to wire

Andy Gregory
·1-min read
Flyers are distributed in Rotterdam, as part of the Get Ready For Brexit campaign (Robin Utrecht/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
Flyers are distributed in Rotterdam, as part of the Get Ready For Brexit campaign (Robin Utrecht/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

There is a “risk of serious disruption and delay” at the border after the Brexit transition period ends in 29 days, MPs on a parliamentary committee have said, warning of possible “catastrophe” as they offered a scathing verdict on ministers’ preparations for breaking with Brussels.

Michel Barnier is reported as warning a trade deal “hangs in the balance” in a briefing with envoys from member states, who are said to be “nervous” the EU’s chief negotiator could be inclined to accept an unsatisfactory agreement as talks run down to the wire. France and Belgium said on Tuesday that a deal with the UK is important, but not at “any cost”.

It comes after the UK’s fiscal watchdog warned a no-deal scenario would batter the sectors of the UK so far spared by the pandemic – particularly manufacturing, financial services and agriculture – days after it offered analysis suggesting failure to secure a deal would knock an additional two per cent from GDP next year, making the long-term economic impact of Brexit worse than the coronavirus.

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