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No-deal Brexit: how the UK government says consumers would be hit

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No-deal Brexit: how the UK government says consumers would be hit

No-deal Brexit: how the UK government says consumers would be hit
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House prices in the United Kingdom could plunge by 35% within three years in the event of a disruptive no-deal Brexit in March 2019, the head of the Bank of England has warned.

Mark Carney reportedly told ministers that failure by London and Brussels to reach an agreement over the UK’s exit from the EU would spark higher unemployment, inflation and interest rates, while depressing growth — bringing a likely property crash.

His comments — described as a “doomsday scenario” not a prediction— came on the day the government spelt out several more potential situations in the case of a no-deal, adding to its previously published assessments.

The UK government stresses both sides’ mutual interests make such an outcome unlikely, but says it still needs to prepare for all eventualities.

Here are some of the areas in which consumers may be affected, according to its latest papers on the likely impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Travel

Under Schengen area rules, British passport holders post-Brexit will be considered third country nationals. The government says they may need six months’ validity remaining on their passports to travel to the vast majority of EU countries — or face being denied entry.

UK and Irish citizens can still travel freely between each other’s countries under Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements.

Britons going to other non-Schengen EU countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus) will need to check the particular nation’s entry requirements.

The documents do not cover EU citizens travelling to the UK, but the government has said they will not need visas for tourism and “temporary” business activity.

Driving

UK driving licences may no longer be valid in the EU. British drivers may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU — otherwise they face fines or being “turned away at the border”.

There are two types of IDP, and which one you need depends on which country you visit. Drivers planning to go to France and Spain would need both.

Britons who become resident in the EU after Brexit may no longer be able to exchange their UK licence for the relevant country’s own licence — and may need to take a new driving test on the continent.

Arrangements for EU driving licence holders coming to the UK would not change.

Mobile phone charges

The UK government warns it cannot guarantee surcharge-free roaming for those travelling to the EU, after a no-deal Brexit. The costs that EU mobile operators could charge UK operators for providing roaming services would no longer be regulated.

However, the government says it would impose a new monthly roaming cap of £45 (€50). UK and EU operators could still strike deals on roaming arrangements, although different terms and conditions may apply limiting calls, texts and data.

The UK’s four largest mobile phone companies have said they have no plans to change their approach.

Consumer goods

Cars approved by UK regulators will no longer be automatically accepted on the EU market, and vice-versa. The vehicle approval system, which relates to safety and environmental standards, applies to manufacturers: motorists can still buy and drive vehicles in the UK and abroad.

The UK plans to accept automatically EU-approved cars and parts for perhaps two years. However, it’s thought that the choice of vehicles may fall if the certificate conversion process on either side brings extra bureaucracy.

Red tape may also affect products like chemicals, as different permits may be needed in the UK and the EU. Drugs companies would also be hit as regulations would no longer apply on a mutual basis.

Exports could be affected as goods from the UK would no longer be covered by common regulations. Under a no-deal Brexit, EU countries may no longer accept UK standards, and businesses will have to meet their national requirements. The paper cites furniture, textiles, bicycles and cooking utensils.

Legal cases

No deal would see the UK fall out of many EU judicial cooperation arrangements, complicating cross-border disputes.

The latest paper highlights the impact on family law, where individuals concerned come from the UK and EU countries. This covers areas such as divorce proceedings, maintenance, child arrangements and child abduction cases.

Some areas would see a switch from EU rules to Hague Conventions — but some experts say legal wrangles could become more complicated for many people.

Other areas

The government’s papers published on Thursday also covered several other areas, from firearms and data protection, to energy supply and satellites and space programmes. Often they are directed at businesses rather than consumers — but a major shake-up for companies would likely have a knock-on effect on individuals.

The government published the first details of its plans and advice for a no-deal Brexit in August.