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UK faces food, fuel and drugs shortages in no-deal Brexit – Times, citing official documents

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland, official government documents leaked to the Sunday Times show.

FILE PHOTO: An anti-Brexit protester is pictured outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo

The Times said the forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst case scenarios.

They said up to 85% of lorries using the main channel crossings “may not be ready” for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves.

The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic will be likely as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.

“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nations infrastructure,” the Times reported.

“The file, marked “official-sensitive” — requiring security clearance on a “need to know” basis — is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UKs readiness for a no-deal Brexit.”

The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.

After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnsons predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November.

Johnson will this week tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.

The prime minister is coming under pressure from politicians across the political spectrum to prevent a disorderly departure, with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn vowing this week to bring down Johnsons government in early September to delay Brexit.

It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unitRead More

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