Prime Minister Theresa May has instructed her top civil servants that, unless she succeeds in concluding a deal over the conditions for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union by the second week of next month, they should put in motion all the emergency procedures for the country crashing out of the EU with no deal whatsoever.
Until now, Mrs May has resisted making such a decision out of fear over the potentially catastrophic implications a no-deal scenario could have over everything, from the movement of civil airplanes and food imports, and right up to the legal status of foreigners in Britain.
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