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No-deal Brexit could cost consumers millions and hit pensions, papers reveal

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab delivers a speech in central London, on preparations for a no deal Brexit which coincides with the publication of the first of the Government's technical notes on the no deal preparations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 23, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Peter Nicholls/PA Wire

Consumers face a multimillion-pound hit if there is a no-deal Brexit because of a "likely increase" in the cost of card payments between the UK and the EU, technical papers released by the UK Government reveal.

Cross-border payments would no longer be covered by a "surcharging ban" that prevents businesses adding an extra levy when people use a specific payment method.

The ban prevents businesses from charging customers for paying by the likes of PayPal or debit or credit cards, which Treasury earlier this year characterised as "rip-off fees".

UK citizens living in Europe also face the possibility of losing access to their pension income and other financial services.

The warnings are contained in 24 technical papers released on Thursday covering preparations consumers and businesses should take in case the UK and EU cannot agree a deal before Britain leaves the trade bloc in March.

The Treasury had said that the card charges, which were banned in January, cost Britons £166 million in 2015.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab reiterated the Government's conviction that it can and will agree a deal with the EU.

But he told reporters on Thursday that plans were being made to recruit an extra 9,000 staff into the civil service to deal with Brexit, in addition to 7,000 currently working on preparations.

A further 1,000 more Border Force staff are to be recruited, more than triple the additional 300 previously planned for.


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