Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

Former British PM calls for new referendum on Brexit

"What I'm not going to do is wallow in pessimism about the state of this country in relation to Brexit and we are going to go into these negotiations with economic confidence and political ambition", he told the Exiting the EU Select Committee.

Raab said his officials had answered European Union counterparts' concerns on the customs plan, part of a White Paper which May pushed through her cabinet at the expense of the resignation of Raab's predecessor and fellow Brexit campaigner David Davis.

The document notes that the European Union is the source of 30 per cent of food for the United Kingdom, and says the country must have "a new policy for the UK's food system, from agriculture to consumption, which is genuinely sustainable, Brexit or no Brexit".

Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers, said that opting for some form of equivalence posed a risk that Britain would end up becoming a "rule taker" - having to continue copying European Union rules in return for access after Brexit.

Overall responsibility for the talks is being moved to the Cabinet Office, the ministry which supports May and where her main Brexit advisor, civil servant Olly Robbins, is based.

Theresa May yesterday insisted the British public should take "comfort" from government preparations for such an eventuality, after it emerged plans were being developed to stockpile food and blood.

Mr Raab repeated the Government's intention to finalise the withdrawal agreement, as well as a political declaration on future UK-EU relations, in October.

Countries like Ireland and the Netherland, it points out, have already started to prepare their businesses for various possible outcomes with on-line assistance and financial grants and notes that "many companies are relocating to the EU27" or expanding their operations there as they retreat from the United Kingdom in advance of Brexit.

But the plan has provoked fury in May's Conservative party and prompted the resignations of Davis and foreign minister Boris Johnson earlier this month.

Asked whether he would be "calling the shots" in his new job, the Brexit Secretary told the House of Commons last week: "No, it is the Prime Minister and the Cabinet".

If Britain fails to reach a deal by March next year, it will automatically leave the EU.

But the meeting comes as both sides of the negotiations step up plans to cope with a collapse in talks which would result in the United Kingdom leaving without a deal in March 2019.

Britain will publish around 70 "technical notices" in August and September setting out what citizens and businesses would need to do. They plan to issue weekly guidance to busineses and households over the summer on how to plan for a no-deal Brexit.

"But I think any responsible government would have to make sure you've got the planning and preparations in place in the event of the negotiations not reaching a positive outcome, and that's what we're doing".

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