Raab plays down the “unlikely” idea of the country crashing out of the EU without a deal, even as he publishes today 20 technical notes on what the consequences of such a scenario would be.
Nearly 100 notices will be published over the coming weeks; already 20 have been released so far but curiosity still remains about the level of detail the business community can expect. Brexit minister Dominic Raab describes the notes as containing “sensible, measured and proportionate” guidance.
Critics predict they will amount to nothing more than “duck and cover” advice that will be wholly inadequate for the massive economic fallout they expect.
However government officials believe publication of the documents will tackle what they call “hair-raising scare stories” about a no-deal Brexit scenario.
They say reaching a deal with the EU is the “overriding priority” but “we must be ready to consider the alternative”.
Angela Merkel sets off today for a three-day tour of the Caucasus, the main focus of which will be her weekend talks in Azerbaijan about the development of a southern pipeline to deliver gas to Europe from the Caspian.
Under onslaught from Donald Trump for not weaning Germany off Russian gas supplies, Merkel will use the trip to show she is searching for alternatives – but she will also remain committed to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline due to carry gas directly from Russia to Germany.
Separately, the Handelsblatt newspaper has a report that Merkel is more intent on securing the European Commission presidency for a German candidate rather than backing Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann to succeed Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank.
If true, that would push the ECB’s most hawkish policymaker out of the running and have possibly far-reaching policy implications just as the bank starts to wind down its stimulus programme.