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Theresa May says prepare for no deal on Brexit: See how this affects you

21 September 2018

The Government has published a series of papers on how the UK will cope in the event of a no-deal. Following Theresa May's statement, no deal is looking more likely.

“We cannot accept anything that threatens the integrity of our union, just as they cannot accept anything that threatens the integrity of theirs.

“We cannot accept anything that does not respect the result of the referendum, just as they cannot accept anything that is not in the interest of their citizens.

“Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect. The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.

“At this late stage in the negotiations, it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side’s proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals.

“So we now need to hear from the EU what the real issues are and what their alternative is so that we can discuss them. Until we do, we cannot make progress.

“In the meantime, we must and will continue the work of preparing ourselves for no deal.”

Theresa May’s statement on Brexit negotiations – Friday 21 September 2018

Key guides which might affect disabled people in health, work, education and travel

View all guides

Read our Brexit manifesto: The implications of Brexit for disability rights: Influencing future debate and policy

Find out more about Brexit and Human Rights

Data protection

There would be no immediate change in the UK’s own data protection standards. This is because the Data Protection Act 2018 would remain in place and the EU Withdrawal Act would incorporate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law to sit alongside it.

Medicines and medical equipment

Batch testing medicines if there's no Brexit deal

Ensuring blood and blood products are safe if there’s no Brexit deal

How medicines, medical devices and clinical trials would be regulated if there’s no Brexit deal

Submitting regulatory information on medical products if there’s no Brexit deal

Quality and safety of organs, tissues and cells if there’s no Brexit deal

These are regulated by EU standards. The Government has promised to maintain these and the people in the UK will not be affected.

See also the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s letter to health and care providers

Studying in the UK or EU


Erasmus+ is the EU funding programme for education, youth, training and sport, which provides €14.7 billion in grants for exchanges and collaboration over 7 years (2014-2020).

The Government has promised to underwrite Erasmus+ funding for all successful bids submitted while we are still in the EU, providing the EU will allow us to do this (by no means certain). If agreed with the EU, funding for successful bids will continue for the lifetime of those projects.

European Social Fund

UK organisations would be unable to access EU funding for European Social Fund projects after exit day. The ESF funds employment schemes, education and training, to support society’s most disadvantaged people and help them acquire relevant skills to support entry into employment and progression in work.

Travel/settlement in the EU


Your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU.

If you move to another EU country to live, you may not be able to exchange your licence after the UK has left the EU.

Mobile phones

You may not be able to get guaranteed surcharge-free roaming, where you can make calls, send texts and use mobile data services for no more than you would be charged when in the UK.

Passport status change

As a British passport holder (including passports issued by the Crown Dependencies and Gibraltar), you’ll be considered a third country national (like Australia, Canada and the USA) - under the Schengen Border Code when you travel to Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

You will need to comply with different rules to enter and travel around the Schengen area. Your passport must have been issued within the last ten years and should have at least 6 months validity left on it.

Republic of Ireland and the Common Travel area

If you are an Irish or British citizen, you will continue to have the right to enter and remain in the UK or the republic, due to pre-existing law.

Travel to Crown Dependencies (Jersey; Guernsey; Isle of Man) is also unaffected.


The UK will continue to have a VAT system after it leaves the EU. The revenue that VAT provides is vital for funding public services. The VAT rules relating to UK domestic transactions will continue to apply to businesses as they do now. Presumably VAT exemption rules will still apply.

Workplace rights

Currently workplace rights and protections come from EU law and including Working Time Regulations, and TUPE regulations, and other employment protection. The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 brings across the powers from EU Directives, which means that workers in the UK will continue to be entitled to those rights under post-Brexit UK law. The question is for how long before successive Governments start to ‘tinker’ with the rules.