Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"Operation Yellowhammer" documents point to food and drug shortages

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British MPs voted last week to force their government to publish the consequences of a possible Brexit without agreement.

Time to Reading 2 min.

The state of preparation of the public and the market sector in case of Brexit without agreement remains " low " in Great Britain, according to official documents released Wednesday, September 11. The threat of port congestion is such that it could lead to shortages of medicines and food.

British MPs voted last week to force their government to publish the details of "Operation Yellowhammer", the codename for confidential government documents dated Aug. 2 that specify the consequences of a "no-deal" (absence). ok) for the UK, in the aftermath of Brexit, scheduled for 31 October.

An "unsustainable" solution

In view of such a scenario, the UK authorities foresee short-term disruptions in 12 key areas, including water and food supply, health, transport and borders, as well as the possibility of "Public disorders".

The British project to eliminate controls at the Irish border "Likely to be unsustainable due to significant economic, legal and biosecurity risks"according to this document, which evokes the possibility of the emergence of a black market in border communities.

Another worrying impact of such a scenario is the lack of chemicals for water reprocessing, which could affect " hundreds of thousands " many people, the report says. It also mentions the risk of supply disruptions in pharmacies and hospitals, while " three quarters " drugs used in the country pass through the Channel Tunnel, where traffic jams are expected to be considerable.

These bottlenecks could last at least three months, before truck traffic improves (a little): it would resume at best in early 2020 that "40 to 60% of its current level". Indeed, 85% of British drivers would not be ready for customs controls that France will put in place from 1st November. The delays to boarding a ferry or the passage of the Channel could reach two and a half days for a British semi-trailer …

"The state of readiness of the public and the market sector (…) will remain weak (…) because of the absence of a clear vision on the form of the exit of the European Union", according to the documents. Part of these documents leaked in the weekly Sunday Times August 18, raising concern among the British population.

Read also Brexit: "If Boris Johnson does not ask for a postponement, the consequences can be very serious"

"Possible increase in public disorders"

Gibraltar could also be affected due to the introduction of customs controls at its border with Spain. Clashes could also break out in fishing areas between British and foreign fishermen, says the report, which also warns against "A possible increase in public disorder and community tensions".

The government stressed that it was in the process of " update " the document. "It describes what could happen in the worst case"insisted Brexit Minister Michael Gove.

But these warnings put more pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has promised to carry out Brexit by 31 October, with or without an agreement with the European Union. He suffered a new setback on Wednesday when Scottish justice declared "Illegal" the controversial parliamentary suspension until October 14, just two weeks before the Brexit date.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Brexit: Parliament is suspended, political confusion is worsening

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