Government officials have warned it would become "much more difficult" to settle cross-border divorce and custody cases if Britain fails to secure a new legal agreement with the EU.
Setting out the UK's position on the future of civil judicial cooperation with other European courts, the Government has proposed a deal that largely replicates its existing arrangement with the bloc.
Officials have expressed confidence that the desire on both sides to maintain a "deep and special relationship" makes such an agreement more likely.
But newly released papers reveal the Government is planning for a "no deal" scenario, which could potentially leave families and businesses with no clear mechanism for settling international disputes.
The proposals, published today, are designed to provide an alternative to the EU system for determining which country's courts will hear a civil, family or commercial law case and which country's laws will apply.
more to follow