Ministers to discuss no-deal Brexit ‘bailout plans’ in event of no deal

The construction sector could be supported in the event of a no-deal Brexit Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

The Government will discuss plans to support companies that could struggle in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Times reports that the Government has drawn up a list of companies – including some of those in the construction and manufacturing sectors – which it believes could be financially exposed in any volatility following the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit war cabinet is expected to discuss the bailout plans, known as Operation Kingfisher, next week.

It comes as gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.2% between April and June, according to figures released on Friday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Chancellor Sajid Javid said he is “not expecting” there to be a recession.

The UK’s economy shrank for the first time since 2012 in the second quarter of this year, as the manufacturing and construction sectors both slumped.

The technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

Mr Javid said the reason for “volatility” was uncertainty about Brexit, which could be resolved by leaving the EU on October 31.

Asked if the growth figures signalled the UK was heading towards a recession, Mr Javid told Channel 4 News: “I don’t accept that for a single second.

“I’m not expecting a recession, there is not a single leading forecaster out there that is expecting a recession, the independent Bank of England is not expecting a recession.

“And you know why they’re not? It’s because the fundamentals are strong, that’s the first thing.

“Our economy since 2010, because of the hard work of the British people, has grown by 19% and we have more people employed than ever before.”

He added: “The reason we are seeing volatility in numbers – higher results in the first quarter, lower in the second quarter – the reason we’re seeing this is because businesses are trying to work around Brexit and there’s too much uncertainty.

“The way to end that uncertainty is to make sure that we leave as planned, which is (on) October 31.”

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that the country’s top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Office permanent secretary and the Queen’s Edward Young have spoken on the phone in recent days in a bid to avert involving Her Majesty in the Brexit process.

Opposition parties are expected to table a no-confidence motion in the Government when MPs return to Westminster in September.

If the Government loses, under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), the Commons has 14 days in which to pass a motion of confidence in either Mr Johnson’s administration or a new alternative government.

If it fails to do so, there has to be a general election.

Some pro-Remain MPs fear Mr Johnson may call a general election for after the UK is set to leave the EU on October 31.

On Thursday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Labour Party would send leader Jeremy Corbyn “in a taxi” to Buckingham Palace if Mr Johnson refused to step down if he lost a vote of no confidence.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve has also suggested the Queen would be forced to intervene to select a new prime minister.