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Politics

Brexit: leaked papers predict food shortages and port delays

  • Brexit: leaked papers predict food shortages and port delays
    The UK will be hit with a three-month meltdown at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if it leaves the EU without a deal, according to government documents on Operation Yellowhammer. Brexit: leaked papers predict food shortages and port delays

Medicines will also be subject to shortages in what Whitehall sources called ‘the most realistic assessment’

The UK will be hit with a three-month meltdown at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if it leaves the EU without a deal, according to government documents on Operation Yellowhammer.

The documents predict severe extended delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods combined with price rises as a likely scenario if the UK leaves without a withdrawal agreement, which is due to happen on 31 October.

They suggest there has been a worsening of the risk since documents leaked to the Guardian showed some of the government’s “reasonable worst-case scenarios” (RWCS) involved risk to medicine supplies and disruption to food chains.

The dossier, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer and compiled this month, found up to 85% of lorries using the main channel crossings “may not be ready” for French customs and could face queues of 2.5 days, the Sunday Times reported.

Medical supplies will “be vulnerable to severe extended delays” as three-quarters of the UK’s medicines enter the country via the main Channel crossings and the availability of fresh food will be reduced and prices will rise, which could hit “vulnerable groups”.