Friday, 21 February, 2020

UK faces food, fuel and drugs shortages in no-deal Brexit

Ginger Lawrence | 18 August, 2019, 20:03

The Sunday Times newspaper published what it said was what the British government expects in the case of a sudden, "no-deal" Brexit.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill said the reports came as "no surprise". On matters concerning the frontier, such as the flow of goods, people and vehicles, and waste management, the statement says these all been dealt with.

The newspaper claimed the documents offer the most detailed assessment of Britain's readiness for leaving the European Union without a deal, which looks increasingly likely as prime minister Boris Johnson insists on exiting by October 31. The forecasts predict chaotic scenes, with new checks in place at a hard border in Ireland and ports clogged for up to three months by trucks unprepared for French customs.

"As a responsible Government, we plan for the worst case scenarios, even though we are confident they will not occur".

"The file, marked "official-sensitive - requiring security clearance on a 'need to know" basis - is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UK's readiness for a no-deal Brexit".

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Twitter he had signed a piece of legislation which set in stone the repeal of the 1972 European Communities act - the laws which made Britain a member of the organization now known as the EU.

The paper reported that avoiding the return of the hard border would likely be "unsustainable".

Details of the British PM's travel plans emerged as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his call for MPs to work together to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

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European leaders have repeatedly rejected reopening an accord agreed by May a year ago but then rejected by British lawmakers on three occasions, despite Johnson's threats that the country will leave then without an agreement.

Johnson is to visit both Germany and France this week and wants to tell the respective leaders that a new deal must replace the current Brussels deal.

"This week, Mr Johnson will travel to Germany and France to insist to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, that Parliament can not stop Brexit", the newspaper said.

It is, however, unclear if MPs have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal departure.

"The plan I set out this week is the simplest and most democratic way to stop no-deal". A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shockwaves through financial markets and weaken London's claim to be the world's preeminent financial center.

Fresh leaked government documents reveal fears of food shortages and mass-disruption if there's a no-deal exit.

He will use the meetings to repeat his demand for a new withdrawal agreement and warn that the United Kingdom is leaving on October 31st come what may.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.