EU's Barnier says Brexit must keep bloc's single market intact

Superdry founder gives $1.28 million to anti Brexit campaign

Michael Russell was speaking ahead of a major speech by his United Kingdom government counterpart Dominic Raab.

The comments came ahead of the release of the first batch in a series of "technical notices" advising businesses and the public on what they need to do to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

Today's papers will include guidance on nuclear safeguards and state aid rules.

The advice will coincide with a speech by the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab in which he will say the United Kingdom would take "unilateral action" to keep trade and transport flowing freely if necessary.

Raab insisted today the United Kingdom would be "prepared for all eventualities" and rubbished "hair-raising scare stories" which he said would be shown to be "very far from the truth" when the reports are released.

With less than eight months to go until the March 29 exit day, several United Kingdom government ministers have warned that the risk of a no-deal Brexit has increased.

After a summer in which both sides have amplified the prospects of a "no deal" scenario, which would see the United Kingdom leave the bloc without any agreement on either future trade or the divorce settlement, practicality and pragmatism were the order of the day from both Barnier and Raab.

In a speech outlining the Government's planning for a possible no-deal Mr Raab will say the Government would take "unilateral action" to maintain continuity if negotiations breakdown.

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Labour has dismissed the no-deal notices, with shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer again claiming that no deal would be "catastrophic".

"As a responsible government, we must prepare for all exit possibilities".

'These technical notices - and the ones that will follow - are a sensible, measured, and proportionate approach to minimising the impact of no deal on British firms, citizens, charities and public bodies'.

He said: "A no deal Brexit would be deeply damaging and disruptive for Scotland, the rest of the United Kingdom and the EU".

For many in Britain, the threat of a "no-deal" Brexit - one where the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a defined trade relationship, and thus reverts to World Trade Organisation tariffs- is a severe one. Indeed, it has been described as a "cliff-edge scenario" by the European Commission.

The UK has rejected the EU's proposal to keep Northern Ireland in the EU's customs union and parts of the single market in order to protect the peace deal there.

"We can find common ground between the EU's principles and the UK's decision", Barnier said, adding that this needs to be done "well before the end of the year".

Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, said earlier this week that the Scottish NHS was working with colleagues in England to ensure there were sufficient medical supplies, including crucial drugs such as insulin, in the event of a no deal Brexit.

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