A no-deal Brexit could result in rising food and fuel prices, disruption to medicine supplies and public disorder on Britain’s streets, according to secret documents the government was forced by MPs to publish on Wednesday.
This was reported by most of the British press on Wednesday.
The five-page document spelling out the government’s “planning assumptions” under Operation Yellowhammer – the government’s no-deal plan – was disclosed in response to a “humble address” motion.
The content of the document was strikingly similar to the plan leaked to the Sunday Times in August, which the government dismissed at the time as out of date.
The document, which says it outlines “reasonable worst case planning assumptions” for no deal Brexit, highlights the risk of border delays, given an estimate that up to 85% of lorries crossing the Channel might not be ready for a new French customs regime.
This situation could last for up to three months, and disruption might last “significantly longer”, it adds, with lorries facing waits of between 1.5 days and 2.5 days to cross the border.
The Guardian reports ”
On food supplies, supplies of “certain types of fresh food” would be reduced, the document warns, as well as other items such as packaging.
It says: “In combination, these two factors will not cause an overall shortage of food in the UK but will reduce availability and choice of products and will increase price, which could impact vulnerable groups.”
Later, it adds: “Low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel.”
On law and order it warns: “Protests and counter-protests will take place across the UK and may absorb significant amounts of police resource. There may also be a rise in public disorder and community tensions.”
The documents also outline a potential impact on cross-border financial services and law enforcement information sharing.
It says Gibraltar could face significant delays on its border with Spain, with four-hour waits likely “for at least a few months”.
The document also concedes that there will be a return to some sort of hard Irish border despite a UK insistence it will not impose checks: “This model is likely to prove unsustainable due to significant economic, legal and biosecurity risks and no effective unilateral mitigations to address this will be available.”
The expectation, it adds, is that some businesses will move to avoid tariffs, and others will face higher costs.
via The Times, Uk Government, The Guardian