Users of Airbnb and other online firms face a price hike if the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, the government has revealed.
In a series of “technical notices” released on Thursday morning, the Brexit Department admitted the cost of paying by card would increase between the UK and the EU.
The card charge increase would also see tourists hit with bigger fees if they use their credit or debit cards while visiting the EU.
Companies based in the EU, such as Airbnb and Ryanair – both based in Ireland – would no longer be bound by rules limiting what they can charge UK customers who pay by plastic.
The notices also tell businesses who export to the EU to begin hiring specialised logistics firms to help them process the extra red tape they will face in the event of ‘no deal’.
The technical notice reads: “The cost of card payments between the UK and EU will likely increase, and these cross-border payments will no longer be covered by the surcharging ban (which prevents businesses from being able to charge consumers for using a specific payment method).”
Labour peer Lord Andrew Adonis, a supporter of anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, said the revelation showed why another referendum was needed.
He said: “Brexit makes you poorer yet again. Every time a new Brexit paper is published, more people are made worse off.
“No one voted for this two years ago.”
In a statement to HuffPost UK after his speech, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab stressed the Government was sure it would get a deal, but added: “In the event of no deal, surcharges for transactions in the UK will continue to be capped as they are today.
“Any changes in fees will be a commercial decision between the banks and the card schemes, but there is currently no indication that banks are planning to increase costs for their consumers in the event of a no deal scenario.”
As well as the increase in card payments, there were also warnings for businesses and Brits living in the EU contained in the technical notices.
Businesses who export to the EU face extra red tape if they want to carry on trading as they do now, as the “free circulation of goods between the UK and EU would cease”.
This will mean customs declarations on goods going from the UK to the EU, and vice versa.
The government instructs business to “consider whether it is appropriate for them to acquire software and/or engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to support them with these new requirements”.
In the technical notice related to banking, the government confirmed that UK citizens living in the EU “may lose the ability to access lending and deposit services, and insurance contracts” in the case of no deal.
CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie claimed the notices confirmed the view that ‘no deal’ would “wreak havoc on economies across Europe”.
He added: “The reality is that businesses across the UK have already spent millions of pounds and thousands of hours on getting ready for no deal. Whilst smaller firms simply do not have the resources to assess what the worst-case scenario would mean to their enterprises.
“These technical notices can only be a starting point for the government. Smaller businesses in particular will need a one-stop-shop where they can get the information and support they need to better understand the issues they would face.”