Thank you for contacting me about the effect of leaving the EU without a deal on the UK
I have always been clear that I would prefer to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement but I believe that leaving without a deal would be preferable to not leaving at all. The British people must be able to trust their politicians to deliver on their promises and the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October whether or not a deal has been reached. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has also announced a total of £2.1 billion to support no deal preparations.
The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019 requires the Government to publish reports on progress made towards the formation of an executive in the province every two weeks between October and December. Amendments to the Act also require MPs to debate the reports even if Parliament has been prorogued. This means that Parliament could be recalled and could be sitting on the 31 October. The legal default EU exit date, however, would not change. Only the Government has the power to change the exit date with the agreement of the EU.
In the event that the UK does leave the EU without a deal, my ministerial colleagues have been clear that the protection of public services in trade deals, including the NHS, is of the highest importance. The NHS offers a universal service that is free at the point of use. It will never be for sale to the private sector and no trade deal will change these principles. The UK also has a long record of assessing the price of medicines according to their clinical value rather than by development cost or international reference prices. I will seek to ensure that this continues to be the case after the country leaves the EU.
I can assure you that our food standards will not be reduced in the pursuit of trade deals. Any future trade deal must work for British farmers and consumers. For instance, EU standards on food such as chlorinated chicken will come into UK law through the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. EU regulations on hormone treated beef are already part of UK law. These prevent the use of growth hormones in imports and domestic production. These will continue after the UK leaves the EU. I can also assure you that farmers will continue to receive the same cash total in funds for the duration of this Parliament whether or not a deal is reached.
The Government's own analysis has predicted that leaving the EU without a deal could mean that GDP is around 7.7 per cent smaller over the next 15 years. This would be challenging in the short-term but I am confident that the UK would thrive in the long-term. Forbes has ranked the UK has as the number one place to do business in the world for two consecutive years and a survey published by KPMG has found that CEOs in the United States, India, China and Japan are more likely to invest in the UK after the country leaves the EU.
The Government is planning for every eventuality in the UK's exit from the EU and over £4 billion has been provided on withdrawal preparations including for a no deal exit. Important steps are already being taken to support manufacturing industries including an increase in the annual investment allowance from £200,000 to £1 million and support for the Made Smarter programme promoting automation and digitalisation in the industry.
School funding is already at a record high and set to rise to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. I know, however, that concerns remain. That is why the Prime Minister has announced a further £4.6 billion with the aim of increasing per pupil funding to at least £4,000 at primary schools and £5,000 at secondary schools. Police funding stands at £14 billion for 2019/20, which is £2 billion more than in 2015/16. The Prime Minister has also announced plans to hire a further 20,000 police officers over the next three years. I will continue to work hard to ensure that our schools and police are properly funded whatever the outcome of the negotiations.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me.