After all the months of no deal Brexit project fear hype by Remainer politicians and campaigners aided and abetted by the press, we now find out that we are prepared.


Since the EU referendum campaign started we have been bombarded with project fear.

The first phase was meant to stop us voting to leave the EU in the first place. With politicians both domestic and from abroad, business leaders, business organisations and the press filling every available minute with dire predictions should the vote go against becoming even more embroiled in the European Union.

But it did and the economy moved on without any of the doom coming to pass.

So Project Fear Part Two commenced, this one aimed at trying to get the people of the UK change our minds, but that didn't work and as it became clear that a no deal was moving on from being a pure academic option to become a distinct possibility, then Project Fear Mark Three was born – to stop the no-deal and still hope to somehow keep us in the EU.

But now we hear from one of the doom-sayers themselves, that the UK is in 'pretty good shape' to leave the EU without a deal.

And this comes from the very civil servant who just months ago predicted that a WTO Brexit would put the country in recession, cause a ten percent food price increase, force businesses to the wall and leave our police forces powerless to protect us.

Speaking at an Institute for Government event, the Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service Sir Mark Sedwill, told attendees that there had been a lot of no deal preparation and said:

"I think we’re in pretty good shape for it.

"We did one of the most impressive pieces of cross-government work I’ve experienced in my career to make No Deal preparations in the run-up to the March-April deadline.

"Those preparations continue and we’ll be in the best possible shape we can for whatever happens."

But, says the BBC, as of the 26th of May over 90% of firms that need to, had not applied for the HMRC Transitional Simplified Procedure scheme that would ease the passage of goods into the country.

The BBC says:

"The Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) would allow UK firms to import goods from mainland Europe without filling out new customs declarations at the border. UK businesses would also be allowed to postpone the payment of import duties for one year.

"But figures show that only 17,800 firms had applied for the TSP as of 26 May. That's less than 10% of the total of 240,000 firms estimated to require the status by 31 October, when the UK's latest Article 50 extension is due to expire."

Now, the first step is to get an Economic Operator and Registration Identification' (EORI) number, which the provider, HMRC, says only takes ten minutes online to do.

You have to ask yourself why businesses aren't being proactive here, don't you. What is holding them back from preparing for the possibility of a no deal WTO Brexit?

This is not a failure of Brexit or no deal preparations by the state – surely this is a failure of businesses to protect themselves.

But as the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses have suggested – why doesn't HMRC just proactively issue the numbers to the firms they think need them?

An HMRC spokesman said:

"Many businesses have already registered with HMRC as international traders – accounting for around two thirds of the trade carried out by UK VAT registered businesses that only trade with the EU."

So we're getting there.

And if the Treasury had kept the no-deal planning money spigot open, then we'd probably be even better prepared.

And if there had been less government and civil service project fear, then maybe businesses would have come to terms with a no deal scenario far earlier.

Now that Boris Johnson looks to be on the way in and Theresa May is on the way out and hopefully taking that Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty with her, maybe we're going to hear a new more pro-Brexit tune coming out of the government machine.


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