LONDON (Reuters) – The British government’s plans for a no-deal Brexit warn of severe disruption to cross-Channel routes, affecting the supply of medicines and certain types of fresh foods, and say that protests and counter-protests will take place across the country, accompanied by a possible rise in public disorder.
An electronic billboard displaying a British government Brexit information awareness campaign advertisement is seen in London, Britain, September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The “Operation Yellowhammer” worst-case assumptions published on Wednesday were prepared on Aug. 2, the government said, nine days after Boris Johnson became prime minister, and form the basis of its no-deal planning.
The document, which looks at the worst that could happen if Britain leaves the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal, said public and business readiness for such an outcome would likely be low, in part because of continued political confusion in the run-up to Brexit day.
It said lorries could have to wait up to two and a half days to cross the English Channel and British citizens could be subject to increased immigration checks at EU border posts.
“Certain types of fresh food supply will decrease,” it said. “There is a risk that panic buying will cause or exacerbate food supply disruption.”
It said the flow of traffic across the English channel could be reduced by as much as 60% on the first day after a no-deal Brexit. The worst disruption could last for up to three months.
Traffic queues could affect fuel deliveries, disrupting su