NO-DEAL Brexit will leave Britain in political and economic chaos with people queuing at borders as they try to get into a country outside of the European Union.

That’s the warning from German journalist Udo Seiwert-Fauti, who works at the heart of political circles in Brussels, Strasbourg and Edinburgh.

He told The National that while the UK had said “nothing will change” after Brexit, the remaining EU states would also have to agree, which could take years, and the resulting uncertainty would affect Edinburgh’s world-renowned festivals.

Seiwert-Fauti gave an example of a Deutsche Oper Berlin orchestra which is appearing in Edinburgh later this month.

“To bring the orchestra to Edinburgh in 2020, there will no longer be any rules about insurances to cover their trip, instruments, no rules for flights, visas and not many rules on how long they could stay in the UK.

“While the UK could say everything will be fine and nothing will change … other states have also to agree that nothing changes.

“That can go on for years. Remember the EU wanting to have visa regulations for Ukraine, a non-EU state? That took eight years to negotiate.”

The National: German journalist Udo Seiwert-FautiGerman journalist Udo Seiwert-Fauti

Similarly, he said inviting American or Irish writers, such as Fintan O’Toole, to next year’s Edinburgh Book Festival could be problematic.

“At the moment there are rules and contracts between the EU, USA and the UK. If the UK leaves without anything these will no longer apply.”

Bringing a Chinese band to the Military Tattoo, he said relied on agreements between China and the EU, or special arrangements between the UK (an EU member state) and China.

“After a No-Deal Brexit that all vanishes. From midnight on October 31, all EU regulations will cease and no longer exist for the UK.”

He added: “A No-Deal Brexit will do large damage to all festivals. London is not very keen to offer Scots any special arrangements.”

Seiwert-Fauti said as numbers of European visitors to the UK start to drop, there was one country that would be smiling.

“Ireland will happy – it’s in the EU and in the Eurozone. It’s easy to fly in and they also have whisky, although it’s spelled whiskey.”

Dr Kirsty Hughes, director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations (SCER), agreed there was likely to be some confusion over post-Brexit entry to the UK.

She said: “No-Deal Brexit will create major confusion over borders and short and longer term entry into the UK for EU visitors and for UK visitors to the EU.

“The EU has however said it will give UK citizens a short-term visa waiver, in the event of No Deal, as long as there is reciprocity from the UK. Coming to the UK to work will depend on the UK’s new migration policy for EU citizens which is not yet up and running.

“For Ireland, the rules will be different again due to bilateral agreements under the Common Travel Area.

“A No Deal will make normal business planning – whether for the Edinburgh festivals or all other businesses from supermarkets to legal services – extremely tough.”

Edinburgh Festival City has been approached for comment.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “A no-deal Brexit will be a disaster for Scotland which is why the UK Government must rule it out immediately.

“We continue with our preparations to protect against the threats from Brexit, but no amount of preparation or funding can completely mitigate all the impacts of leaving the European Union.

“We have regularly raised concerns with the UK Government about the challenges for international performers in coming to participate in our festivals and this is particularly important as artists require certainty for bookings that are often years ahead.

“The UK Government must not ignore these concerns.”