Brexit: ‘No-deal’ could cause drug and food shortages in UK

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The British government’s plans for a “no-deal” Brexit highlight “severe risks” including disruption to supplies of medicine and fresh food that could unleash protests and public disorder.

“Operation Yellowhammer”, a government documents outlining worst-case scenarios of crashing out of the European Union without an agreement was published on Wednesday by the government of Boris Johnson after parliament passed legislation forcing it to reveal the documents.

According to Aljazeera, the document analyses the negative consequences if the UK leaves the EU on October 31 without a divorce deal. The plan said that 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.

Lorries may have to wait up to two-and-a-half days to cross the English Channel, and British citizens could be subjected 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.” The British territory of Gibraltar could be particularly badly affected, it said, because of the imposition of checks at its border with Spain.

Disputes could also flare up in fishing areas with non-British vessels still active in British waters, while “there may also be a rise in public disorder and community tensions”, said the assessment.

Legislators in Parliament passed a motion earlier this week to force the government to make the Yellowhammer documents public, as well as to release discussions between Johnson, ministers and advisers of the controversial decision to suspend parliament for five weeks until Oct. 14.

Aljazeera reported that the government refused to comply with that request. The ‘no-deal’ plans confirm the “severe risks” of a no-deal Brexit scenario, the Brexit spokesman of the UK’s main opposition Labour Party said.

“It is also now more important than ever that Parliament is recalled and has the opportunity to scrutinize these documents and take all steps necessary to stop no deal,” Keir Starmer said on Wednesday.