U.K. to Trigger No-Deal Brexit Plans a Week Before Deadline, Sources Say

(Bloomberg) -- The government will tell ports and shippers to pull the trigger on no-deal Brexit contingency plans the week before the March 29 deadline, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The Department for Transport will give companies and officials involved in cross-border trade and inspections the go-ahead for the plans if a deal or extension agreement hasn’t been reached on the break with the European Union by that point, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public.

The U.K. has already published guidance on no-deal planning, including advice on customs declarations and driver permits, for those conducting trade between the U.K. and the EU. At a week before the scheduled exit, it will give them its final advice and inform them that a no-deal Brexit is extremely likely, the people said.

Other government departments may tell additional industries and businesses around the same time to enact Brexit contingency plans, one of the people said. The directive is likely to come just before an EU summit that begins March 21, the last opportunity for the bloc to sign off on a deal or extension, the person said.

A Department for Transport representative declined to comment immediately.

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