'No surprise' at reports of Brexit food shortages and hard border

Clay Curtis
August 19, 2019

"Yellowhammer is a worst-case scenario - [very] significant steps have been taken in the last three weeks to accelerate Brexit planning", Gove wrote on Twitter, seemingly contradicting the counterclaims made by other British officials.

Downing Street has reacted with fury to the leak of an official document predicting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to food, medicine and petrol shortages, with No 10 sources blaming the disclosure on a hostile former minister intent on ruining Boris Johnson's trip to see European Union leaders this week.

"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 nation's infrastructure", the Times reported.

The Sunday Times did not explain how it got the documents.

"It seems to me is what we've seen is a hard-headed assessment of reality, that sets out in really stark terms what a calamitous outcome of no-deal Brexit would mean for the United Kingdom", lawmaker Nick Thomas-Symonds told Sky News television. A government source blamed the leak on an unnamed former minister who wanted to influence negotiations with the EU.

UK's Boris Johnson will visit European capitals this week on his first overseas trip as prime minister, as his government said Sunday it had ordered the scrapping of the decades-old law enforcing its EU membership.

He added that the backstop - agreed in Theresa May's withdrawal agreement with the hope of maintaining a seamless border on the island of Ireland - was an "insurance policy" created to protect the peace process.

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"We have dealt with all issues relating to the flow of goods, foodstuffs, waste, medicines and the flow of people and vehicles across the frontier", Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said in a Gibraltar government statement.

"This week, Mr Johnson will travel to Germany and France to insist to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, that Parliament can not stop Brexit", the newspaper said.

"This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back - we are leaving the European Union as promised on October 31, whatever the circumstances".

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

Opponents of no deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the West's most stable democracies.

Young activists from Our Future, Our Choice held a protest outside the Scottish Conservative's headquarters in Edinburgh to warn that a no-deal Brexit threatens the future of the Union.

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