In a no-deal Brexit the UK will be hit with fuel, fresh food and medical shortages along with a three-month period of chaos across ports, with a hard border in Ireland, leaked documents reveal.
The leaked documents were written by the Cabinet Office and are called “Operation Yellowhammer” which was published by the Sunday Times.
The newspaper was told by a senior Whitehall source, “This is not Project Fear, this is the most realistic assessment of what the public face with no-deal.
“These are likely, basic, reasonable scenarios – not the worst case.”
These leaked documents offer the most detailed assessment of the UK’s readiness for leaving the
bloc with a Boris Johnson no-deal Brexit “do or die.”
Contingency planning has been hampered by increased “EU exit fatigue” as businesses and the public are by in large not prepared for a no-deal Brexit, the government documents warn.
The Cabinet Office documents further warns there could be a return of a hard border in Ireland with current plans to avoid checks on the border that will be “unsustainable.” This could lead to road blockages, protests with “direct action.”
Some 85% of lorries using the Channel crossing “may not be ready” for French customs which may well see delays of up to two and half days. There will be months of border delays which will lead to fuel and fresh food shortages in London and the South East, the documents say.
As three quarters of medicines travel through the Channel crossing to the UK medical supplies will “be vulnerable” with “severe extended delays.”
Food prices will also rise that could affect vulnerable groups the government has warned.
A source from the Cabinet Office told the Sunday Times, “Successive UK governments have a long history of failing to prepare their citizens to be resilient for their own emergencies.”
However, former Tory former Cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson said in a joint statement, “This Operation Yellowhammer leak is the version of what the contingency executive put together.
“We remember attending a briefing on privy council terms which they said was not worst case but reasonable worst case. Theresa May had asked for this to be done. It was obviously Project Fear dressed up.
“For example, on the delays at the port we asked if they had discussed their expectation with the port authorities of Calais Pas du Nord who had already said that there would be no extra delays at Calais and they said, [after a great deal of shuffling of feet] ‘no’.
“We asked why not and they said they had not been asked to do so. There were other areas where it was clear they had not been asked to get balance but instead dress up previous versions of other worst-case scenarios.
“The whole thing was an attempt to frighten us and didn’t stand up to scrutiny. We have never seen officials look so uneasy under questioning.
“The fact that this document was ‘found’ in a Westminster pub tells you all you need to know about this continuing establishment plot to sow fear in people’s minds. This is an abuse of the proper use of the Civil Service and must be stopped.”