A SERIES of warnings by the UK Government around the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit have been blasted as a "bluff" by first minister Carwyn Jones.

On Thursday a series of 24 government papers outlining the impact of leaving the European Union without a deal were released, warning card charges for paying for items in EU countries could increase, while UK citizens living in Europe could lose access to their pensions and other financial services.

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has said he remains confident the government can and will agree a deal before March next year.

But Carwyn Jones has blasted the announced as a "bluff".

“No deal would be a catastrophic failure of the UK Government that would cause huge disruption and serious, long-lasting economic and social damage to all parts of the UK," he said.

“It is hugely frustrating, because if the UK Government had adopted the blueprint to negotiations we set out over 18 months ago, they could have made substantial progress on the future partnership with the EU.

"They also could have avoided the situation we face today where our biggest employers are considering leaving the UK with the loss of thousands of jobs causing disruption to our economy, our universities are at risk of losing out on vital research and our hospitals are warning of staff shortages putting patients at risk.

“No deal is not an option and the UK Government’s bluff is fooling no-one.

"It is time the prime minister dropped the poker face and worked constructively with the EU-27 to secure a Brexit deal that protects our citizens, services and economy.”

Businesses have also been warned to put new measures in place to deal with extra logistical and financial hurdles over VAT and customs arrangements which may emerge if no deal is reached, while new medicines will need specific approval before they can be made available to patients in the UK.

But South Wales East AM Steffan Lewis has said, if leaving the EU without a deal becomes a real possibility, a referendum on whether the British people approve of a no-deal Brexit should be held.

Mr Lewis, who is Plaid Cymru's external affairs spokesman, said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that leaving the EU without a deal would be a mistake of historic proportions which would cause great harm to people’s livelihoods, wellbeing and security.

“When government is telling businesses to consider paying for the services of a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider and advising them to invest in software and warehousing, it’s clear something is seriously wrong."

He added: “It is reasonable to assume that most people who voted to leave expected the government to be able to come to some sort of agreement with the EU and that it would not lead to the wholesale collapse of industries and emergency procedures seen usually only in times of war.

“It is therefore Plaid Cymru’s view that there is no mandate for a disastrous no deal Brexit and the people should therefore be allowed to vote on whether or not such a scenario should be allowed to happen, if no deal is agreed."

Mr Raab has also announced an extra 9,000 staff are being recruited into the civil service to deal with Brexit, in addition to 7,000 currently working on preparations, while 1,000 more border force staff are to be recruited, more than triple the additional 300 previously planned for.