A British government ministry focused on the U.K.'s departure from the European Union has reiterated a warning that the country's economy could weaken as much as 9 percent over a 15-year period, unless a binding withdrawal settlement between the two sides is agreed that provides trading continuity.
The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) on Tuesday afternoon issued the status update on government preparations for such a scenario, including the implications for specific sectors as outlined in several case studies.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Theresa May had for the first time in months promised lawmakers an opportunity to explicitly rule out a no-deal scenario in a parliamentary vote by March 13, though senior members of her government continue to insist that it remains a possibility.
The embattled leader has faced a rising chorus of voices — within both political and business spheres — to prevent any sudden severing of Britain's myriad security and economic ties with the world's largest trading bloc.
The consequences of such a rupture, as summarized by DExEU civil servants in Tuesday's report, include an economy that — over a 15-year time horizon — could be between 6.3 percent and 9 percent smaller than would be the case if current trading conditions were maintained.
The costs of customs compliance would be particularly onerous for British businesses, the report suggests, with the administrative burden for firms that are unused to such interactions estimated at £13 billion ($17.3 billion) a year.