United Kingdom govt: Businesses not ready for no-deal Brexit

Remigio Civitarese
Сентября 12, 2019

The "Operation Yellowhammer" assumptions, prepared six weeks ago just days after Johnson became prime minister, form the basis of government no-deal planning.

The document also says "certain types of fresh food supply will decrease" and prices will go up in a worst-case no-deal Brexit scenario.

Operation Yellowhammer does rule out likelihood of any food shortages but notes that as the United Kingdom will be coming out of its growing season so certain types of fresh food may not be as readily available.

It said lorries could have to wait up to two and a half days to cross the English Channel and British citizens could be subject to increased immigration checks at European Union border posts.

"The lack of trader readiness combined with limited space in French ports to hold "unready" HGVs could reduce the flow rate to 40 percent-60 percent of current levels within one day as unready HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles, red.) will fill the ports and block flow", it warns, adding that "HGVs could face maximum delays of 1.5-2.5 days before being able to cross the border".

The stark picture of disruption represents the government's "reasonable worst case scenario" for leaving the European Union on October 31 without a divorce agreement The government was forced to publish the document late Wednesday after lawmakers demanded it.

The documents also outline fuel shortages which will particularly affect London and the south-east of England as regional traffic disruption caused by the blockage at the ports.

Cross-border financial services would be affected as would information-sharing between police and security services, according to the document.

Documents from Operation Yellowhammer were first published in the Sunday Times newspaper on August 18. Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit planning, said the request was inappropriate and disproportionate.

He said on Wednesday that assumptions contained in the five-page published document were now being reviewed, but they were the most recent complete iteration of the plans.

But the publication of the government's no-deal Brexit scenario prompted calls from Labour and other opposition parties for parliament to be recalled.

"It is completely irresponsible for the government to have tried to ignore these stark warnings and prevent the public from seeing the evidence".

The document was published after lawmakers in Parliament demanded it.

A group of lawmakers is challenging the government's decision to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament, for five weeks until October 14 - just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the European Union.

Scotland's highest court of appeal ruled on Wednesday that the suspension was not lawful and was meant to stymie lawmakers, prompting opponents to question whether Johnson had lied to Elizabeth, the world's longest reining monarch, who must formally order the prorogation. Nevertheless, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains convinced that a Brexit deal can be sealed with the European Union in a few weeks.

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