The UK will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 – and with each day that passes, No Deal Brexit is becoming as bigger threat.
As time runs out, plans are now being put into action while the nation’s politicians try to escape their deadlock over a Brexit deal.
If there’s no arrangement in time, we’ll lose 70 international trade deals in a blink, shed access to EU criminal databases and have to stockpile food and medicine at the stroke of 11pm.
The government has issued 104 “technical notices” on the practical effects of No Deal – everything from driving licences to cats.
A lot of the effects are on business. UK farmers face a nine-month wait for approval to export organic goods to the EU. Fishermen could be blocked from EU waters. And manufacturers fear their supply chains drying up.
But that’s not what who’ve written this guide for.
More than enough has been written about business. Instead we have looked through the facts to establish 21 ways No Deal Brexit will affect you, the reader – and your everyday life.
Of course, these are worst case scenarios. They’re not exhaustive. They may never happen.
No Deal will happen if Britain can’t find a compromise between all these issues that keeps everyone happy enough before 29 March 2019.
It will mean falling back on World Trade Organisation trade tariffs – increase the price of imports and exports – and could leave legal ‘black holes’ where EU law stood before.
The UK government has been ramping up preparations for no deal since the beginning of summer 2018.
At the moment, British citizens can enter ‘Schengen area’ countries with a valid passport even if they only have a day left before they expire.
But in a no deal Brexit, after 29 March 2019 you may not be able to travel to these countries if you have less than six months left on your passport.
The government is advising travellers – children AND adults – to renew any passports that will have less than six months’ remaining validity at the time of their trip.
“If your passport does not meet these criteria, you may be denied entry to any of the Schengen area countries, and you should renew your passport before you travel,” a government note warns.
It goes on to say people with expiring passports should renew them “soon” because the passport office can get “busy”.
The following are members of the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
There would be a huge surge in red tape for pet owners who want to take their beloved animals abroad.
Currently dogs , cats and ferrets can travel anywhere in the EU as long as they have a “pet passport”.
The main requirement is that three weeks before the first visit, owners must go to the vet to have their pet vaccinated against rabies and microchipped.
But in the worst case no-deal Brexit, pet owners would have to visit a vet at least four months before visiting the EU.
“This means pet owners intending to travel to the EU on 30 March 2019 would need to discuss requirements with their vet before the end of November 2018,” government papers warn.
The animal would have to have a rabies vaccination followed by a blood test at least 30 days before travel, to prove the vaccination worked.
Once that was completed, the pet owner would have to visit a vet to obtain a health certificate.
But this cannot be done more than 10 days before the date the holiday starts.
This is the worst case scenario. In another form of No Deal Brexit, the UK could be made a “listed third country”. This would increase red tape but not as much, with a visit to the vet only needed three weeks before travel.
Flights could be grounded in a worse case No Deal Brexit.
British airlines hoping to fly planes between the EU and UK would have to win permission from each separate country, the government admits.
European firms wanting to carry passengers between Britain and the continent would have to seek authority from the UK.
UK airlines would also lose the automatic right to fly planes between two EU destinations, such as Milan and Paris.
The government says it “envisages” granting permission to EU airlines and getting permission to fly in the EU.
But Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said there was a risk that flights would be grounded if “goodwill” fails.
He told MPs: “It’s not implausible, it’s not impossible. It could happen deliberately, it could happen by mistake. It depends on how friendly or unfriendly the accompanying music is while all this goes on.”
Eurostar services could be suspended in a no deal Brexit.
The government has told international train passengers – including the Eurostar – to make sure they have “insurance and ticket terms and conditions” that are “sufficient to cover possible disruption”.
That implies passengers should buy FLEXIBLE tickets – not the fixed cheap ones that are popular for their low cost.
The UK will need bilateral deals with France, Belgium and the Netherlands to ensure international trains keep running.
Without such a deal, Britain has proposed recognising EU operator licences until March 2021 to ensure services can continue. But this isn’t guaranteed, and UK operators would have to reapply with the EU.
Former Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis claimed the notice “seems to be saying that the vital train link between Britain and Europe could be severed.”
Air passengers changing flights in the EU may have to undergo two security screenings under a no-deal exit.
Travellers boarding a plane in the UK to fly to a European airport, before changing flights for an onward destination, would be screened in Britain as they are now.
But they might have to have a second check in the EU before getting their connecting flight.
“Currently passengers flying from the UK and transferring at an EU airport for an onward flight do not have to be re-screened at that EU airport, because the UK applies, and exceeds, the EU baseline aviation security measures,” says a Department for Transport briefing note.
“If there is no deal, and the EU decides not to recognise the UK aviation security system, then passengers and their luggage will have to be re-screened when changing flights in EU hub airports.”
Britons could be barred from accessing their accounts for Netflix, Spotify and other online entertainment while travelling to EU states if there’s a no-deal Brexit.
Under the EU-wide “portability regulation”, which took force in April, citizens can access accounts set up and based in one country while visiting other member states.
But a government technical notice said: “The portability regulation will cease to apply to UK nationals when they travel to the EU.
“This means online content service providers will not be required or able to offer cross-border access to UK consumers under the EU Regulation.
“UK consumers may see restrictions to their online content services when they temporarily visit the EU.”
Currently a UK driving licence is the only thing visitors need to get behind the wheel on the continent.
But under a no-deal Brexit, you may need an International Driving Permit.
The £5.50 documents would be sold at 2,500 post offices from February. Currently they’re sold at fewer than 100. The number of permits issued would have to soar from 100,000 a year to 7million.
Meanwhile you will also be forced to apply for a ‘green card’ to prove you have the right car insurance.
The certificates are free of charge and available from insurance companies.
But the government warns firms may increase administration fees in order to cope with the extra bureaucracy.
Those who forget their green cards would be forced to buy expensive “frontier” insurance in the country they are visiting.
Mobile phone roaming charges could be hiked – less than two years after they were slashed across the EU.
Costs were cut in June 2017, meaning there is no extra fee for using a British device on the continent for calls, texts and data.
Operators would not be bound by the agreement if the UK crashes out without a deal.
The biggest companies, servicing 85% of customers – Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone – have no plans to reimpose roaming charges after Brexit.
But in terms of the entire mobile market, “surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed,” the government has warned.
Northern Ireland will be forced to take drastic measures to stop the lights going out.
A worst-case No Deal Brexit would scupper the all-island electricity market shared by Northern Ireland and the Republic – leaving it “without any legal basis”.
This would make both markets “less efficient, with potential effects for producers and consumers on both sides of the border,” the government warns.
And it “may be necessary to seek additional [legal] powers to preserve security of supply.”
To stop the lights going out, Northern Ireland would have to take more electricity from British power stations through an “interconnector” running under the Irish Sea.
But Northern Ireland’s Transmission System Operator “may need to rely on fall-back arrangements” to ensure power keeps flowing, the government warns.
That is why, even if there’s a no deal, the government will “take all possible measures” to keep the all-island market running. There has been talk of barges in the Irish Sea.
Dustin Benton of Green Alliance warned: ” Any emergency action to keep the lights on, both in Northern Ireland and across the rest of the UK, would likely be highly polluting and expensive.”
Package holidaymakers could be left stranded with no legal protection if the firm they booked with goes bust.
Currently Brits have “insolvency protection” if they book with a package holiday provider that’s based anywhere in the EU.
But in a No Deal Brexit, that protection would only apply if the firms are “targeting” the UK market. That means those booking with, say, a cheaper Spanish firm online that has no UK presence could be unprotected.
Even if the UK government could act, in practice it will be much harder to take enforcement action against foreign firms because other countries will no longer recognise UK courts
Government documents reveal the same problem – UK courts not being recognised – will strip Brits of their consumer rights for EU goods bought online.
Alex Neill of consumer group Which? warned: “A no-deal Brexit would massively weaken people’s rights to take action when they purchase faulty or dangerous products from outside the UK.
“The Government’s advice that we all become experts in international consumer law is hopelessly unrealistic.
“Securing a good deal with the EU is vital to ensure that Brexit doesn’t result in a bonfire of consumer rights and protections.”
Graphic warnings on cigarette packets will be replaced by Australian versions in a “no-deal” Brexit.
And in some ways they are even more gruesome than the ones we have now.
The grim pictures show a foot ridden with peripheral vascular disease, a clogged artery, a bleeding brain and high-resolution teeth stained black.
The photos will be changed in a No Deal Brexit because the European Commission owns the copyright on ones we currently use.
That means the UK would be unable to use them after 29 March 2019.
Families who are midway through divorce or child custody cases involving another EU country could find themselves trapped in limbo.
If there’s a no deal Brexit, the UK will cease to be part of co-operation between EU family courts on 29 March 2019.
Instead the UK will fall back on legal conventions drawn up in The Hague. But these are complicated and do not cover every area of the law.
The government has advised families with ongoing cases to seek legal advice if they will not finish by Brexit Day.
A government technical note says: “Broadly speaking, cases ongoing on exit day will continue to proceed under the current rules.
“However, we cannot guarantee that EU courts will follow the same principle, nor that EU courts will accept or recognise any judgments stemming from these cases.”