United Kingdom watchdog tells banks to prepare for hard Brexit

The European Commission released its report as Dominic Raab made his first visit to Brussels as Brexit Secretary for talks with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier

The UK's White Paper published last week is aimed at ensuring trade co-operation, with no hard border for Northern Ireland, and global trade deals for the UK.

Barnier also raised several practical problems with the plan, including the "major risk of fraud", and significant financial and administrative costs for businesses under the new dual system, and suggesting the United Kingdom operating lower tariffs than the European Union would hand them a competitive advantage which damaged the European Union 27 countries financially.

Johnson, the former mayor of London seen to have ambitions to be prime minister, is not alone in calling for May to ditch the Chequers plan.

Before heading to the Irish border - another core Brexit issue - Theresa May on Wednesday reiterated her position on a no-deal situation.

The period will also be used to reach an agreement on the future relationship between Britain and the UK. "We have time in these negotiations, we have changed tack once and we can do so again", he told the House of Commons as his supporters crowded the nearby benches to show support.

We will only have a withdrawal agreement if the legal text is agreed on all issues.

He referred to a "miserable permanent limbo of Chequers", a reference to the country residence of the prime minister, where she emerged earlier this month with a plan to go forward that sought to strike a balance of the desires from both the pro-Brexit and pro-EU wings of her party.

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With a trip to Northern Ireland this week, May began a tour of Britain to convince voters to back her blueprint for close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next March.

Johnson, who was the figurehead of the Vote Leave campaign, warned the government not to "make the fatal mistake of underestimating the intelligence of the public", who he claimed would understand that the deal the prime minister is proposing is "Brexit in name only".

For example, it says a "no deal" Brexit would "cause significant" delays at borders because of the need to carry out customs checks. "Those questions will have to be answered in the coming days and weeks", said German Europe Minister Michael Roth.

However, he admitted that "we need to check if the proposals laid out in the White Paper are compatible with the principles set out in March by the EU's 27 leaders".

Prominent ex-ministers David Davis and Boris Johnson resigned from the cabinet over the plan devised at the PM's country retreat Chequers.

This leaves the Prime Minister more or less at the mercy of Brussels, as if they do not accept her Chequers plan she is out of alternative options - except, perhaps, not leaving the European Union at all, which she recently threatened was a possibility if Brexiteers did not back her.

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