Britain’s Brexit secretary will today play down the “unlikely” idea of the country crashing out of the EU without a deal, even as he publishes roughly 20 technical notes on what the consequences of such a scenario would be.

As he attempts to persuade Brussels that Britain is prepared to walk away from negotiations if necessary, while at the same time trying not to alarm businesses and the public, he will say: “I remain confident a good deal is within our sights, and that remains our top, and over-riding, priority,” Mr Raab is expected to say.

***

The possibility of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn is close behind Brexit as a perceived threat to business, according to a poll of UK executives published on Thursday.

Nearly one in three believes that a Labour-led government will be in power within the next five years, according to research by BritainThinks, a polling firm, for business lobbying group London First. A majority — 69 per cent — think a general election will occur before the anticipated date of May 2022.