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British government warns of Channel delays and electricity price hikes in no-deal planning document

The six-page document lays out no-deal Brexit preparations from the British government.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT has published Operation Yellowhammer papers which lay out no-deal Brexit preparations and the impact of Britain leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. 

The six-page document includes warnings of delays lasting three months at Channel crossings, significant electricity price hikes and impacts on medicine and food supplies.

Scenarios include Channel crossings lasting up to three months before improving, the document notes, while lorries could face maximum delays of up to two-and-a-half days.

In addition, there could be immigration delays at the Channel Tunnel, ferry crossings and airports.

The document also warns of “significant” electricity price rises while medicine supplies will be “particularly vulnerable to severe extended delays”. Supplies of some fresh food will also likely decrease.

Meanwhile, some people have queried why Section 15 of the document has been redacted. 

Capture Source: Gov.Uk

Much of the details contained in the documents had already been reported by the Sunday Times. 

The papers also contain stark details of what could happen at the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

“Prices and other differentials are likely to lead to the growth of the illegitimate economy. This will be particularly severe in border communities where both criminal and dissident groups already operate with greater threat and impunity,” one section of the document states.

It also warns of major disruption across the UK if the country crashes out of the EU without a deal. “Protests and counter-protests will take place across the UK and may absorb significant amounts of police resource,” the document warns. 

“There may also be a rise in public disorder and community tensions.”

It also contains warnings that “low-income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel”. 

On Monday evening, British MPs backed a motion requiring the release of no-deal planning documents and documents relating to the suspension of parliament. 

The motion, put forward by Dominic Grieve who lost the Conservative Party whip last week, requires the release of all internal communications, including with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial adviser Dominic Cummings. 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said in the Commons prior to the vote that he has already said that the government intends to publish a version of its Operation Yellowhammer report on no-deal planning.

But it is neither an impact assessment or a worst-case scenario, Gove added. 

The government has, however, refused to release internal communications between Johnson’s top advisers over Operation Yellowhammer and parliament’s suspension. 

In a letter, Gove addressed Grieve and said that the request would breach the rights of those named in the communications.

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“This is an unprecedented, inappropriate, and disproportionate use of [the Humble Address] procedure. To name individuals without any regard for their rights or the consequences of doing so goes far beyond any reasonable right of Parliament under this procedure,” Gove wrote. 

On Monday, parliament was suspended after Johnson failed to gain support for a motion calling for a general election. 

MPs are due back in parliament on 14 October for what’s known as the Queen’s Speech, which officially opens the House of Commons once again.

This morning, however, Scotland’s highest civil court rules that Johnson’s prorogation – suspension – of parliament was unlawful

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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