LONDON – A leaked cross-government study is warning that there could be food and medicine shortages if the United Kingdom (UK) were to leave the European Union (EU) without a deal.
Dubbed Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier that was leaked to the Sunday Times postulated that the UK could face months of disruption at its ports if there was a no-deal Brexit.
But, cabinet minister Michael Grove, who is responsible for no-deal preparation, said the report was a “worse-case scenario” and an old document.
This leak come as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to meet European leaders this week.
The dossier says leaving the EU without a deal could lead to:
- Fresh food becoming less available and prices rising
- A hard Irish border after plans to avoid checks fail, sparking protests
- Fuel becoming less available and 2,000 jobs being lost if the government sets petrol import tariffs to 0%, potentially causing two oil refineries to close
- UK patients having to wait longer for medicines, including insulin and flu vaccines
- A rise in public disorder and community tensions resulting from a shortage of food and drugs
- Passengers being delayed at EU airports, Eurotunnel and Dover
- Freight disruption at ports lasting up to three months, caused by customs checks, before traffic flow improves to 50-70% of the current rate