Forty Members. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I stressed earlier that if we choose to leave without a deal on
If we were to leave on
We also know that there are at least 145,000 businesses in this country that trade with the EU—and of course do commerce in the UK—but do not trade outside the EU. As soon as we become a third country, they will need to register with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in order to ensure that their trade can continue. Those businesses will need to secure their economic operator registration and identification—EORI—numbers and the other documentation necessary to trade. At the time of speaking, only about 50,000 of those 145,000 businesses have made those preparations. That means that, just over a fortnight away from the prospect of leaving without a deal, a significant number of businesses in this country do not have the wherewithal, the means, or the appropriate documentation to carry on trading.
On top of that, products of animal origin being exported to the European Union will need to undergo sanitary and phytosanitary checks—in addition to customs and other checks—at a border inspection post. A significant amount of our food produce crosses the narrow strait from Dover to Calais or goes through Eurotunnel. At the time of speaking, there is no border inspection post at either of those ports. Of course, there are many things that this Government can do to mitigate the consequences of no deal, but we cannot dictate what the EU’s tariffs will be, we cannot instruct the port authorities in France on how to order their affairs, and we cannot compel businesses to acquire the means necessary to continue to trade in the way that they have been doing. These all represent cumulative costs that businesses would face in the event of a no-deal exit on