A No Deal Brexit would cause delays to medicine imports, hike electricity prices, lead to shortages of some foods and trigger major hold-ups at channel ports, government documents reveal.
The Operation Yellowhammer documents warn of panic buying, disease outbreaks and major delays at Dover and disruption for passengers travelling to and from the EU.
The dossier, which had been dismissed by some Brexiteers as ‘Project Fear, was released in response to MPs voting for it to happen.
Boris Johnson was “ordered” by MPs in a drubbing Commons defeat on Monday to publish all documents – including Cabinet papers – relating to No Deal planning and the prorogation decision since July.
The ‘sensitive’ August 2 document released tonight warns HGVs could face delays of nearly three days when trying to cross the Channel in a No Deal Brexit.
The supply of medicines could be hit and fresh food stocks will “decrease”.
It says: “Low-income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel.”
Some 100,000 homes may suffer water supply problems in “localised” disruption.
And the document warns “protests and counter protests” will take place across the UK – “absorbing significant amounts of police resource”.
The document says UK citizens travelling to and from the EU “may be subject to increased immigration checks at EU border posts”.
It warns: “This may lead to passenger delays at St Pancras, Cheriton (Channel Tunnel) and Dover where juxtaposed controls are in place.
“Dependent on the plans EU member states put in place to cope with these increased immigration checks, it is likely that delays will occur for UK arrivals and departures at EU airports and ports.
“This could cause some disruption on transport services. Travellers may decide to use alternative routes to complete their journey.”
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Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister responsible for no-deal planning, said the details described what could occur in a “reasonable worst case scenario” but “not a prediction of what is most likely to happen”.
And he pledged to publish “revised assumptions” reflecting ongoing preparatory work “in due course”.
But a source from Theresa May’s government said: “They’ve clearly relabelled it.
“This was originally a base scenario, which is government language for what is most likely to happen.”