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LONDON: September 12, 2019. The UK government has been forced to reveal its lack preparedness for a No-Deal Brexit that is expected to reduce the flow of trucks across the Channel by 40-60 percent below current levels “within one day” and might last for up to three months or in some cases “significantly longer”.

In a report dated August 02 and titled “Operation Yellowhammer”, Boris Johnson’s government sets out what it describes as “reasonable worse case planning assumptions” after October 31 without a deal with the EU, and expects “significant disruption of up to six months” on the supply of fresh food and medicine as well as rising prices.

Port of DoverWith growing pressure on the agriculture food chain in preparation for the Christmas holiday period, the report says “there is a risk that panic buying will cause or exacerbate food supply disruption,” citing the UK government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Responding to the government’s plan announced in March for “no new checks” to avoid a hard border in Britain with Europe, the report expects the idea to be “unsustainable due to significant economic, legal and biosecurity risks” and forecasts the agriculture sector will be the hardest hit “given its reliance on highly integrated cross-border supply chains and high tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade”.

Commenting on August 01, one day before the Operation Yellowhammer dateline, Port of Dover (pictured) CEO Doug Bannister said: "In the current circumstances, it is natural and appropriate that the UK government should consider how to protect the supply of certain critical goods such as medicines. However, we also need a measured and holistic approach, one that rationally deals with all of our trading needs. We believe a prudent government should place a commensurate level of attention to ensure borders remain open so that all time sensitive essential items, such as perishable foods, continue to flow via the most economic route to market."

With the UK becoming a third country in respect to the EU on November 01, Operation Yellowhammer notes the automatic application of the EU tariff and regulatory requirement for goods entering Ireland “will severely disrupt trade”.

The report, revealed in the UK Guardian newspaper on September 11, also predicts a rise in “public disorder” and growth of a black market – euphemistically described as the “illegitimate economy”. Download it here:

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