- No-Deal Brexit: Britain to Suffer Food, Fuel and Drug Shortages
A document compiled by the Cabinet Office in the UK and published by the Sunday Times pointed to economic hardship if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a transition deal as the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and his team are pushing for come October.
According to the Sunday Times, food shortage and the inability to access daily necessities will lead to high consumer prices as additional 4 percent import tax would have been imposed on all import goods from the European Union.
It explains that fresh food will gradually decrease and lack of it will also hit more complex food production —because of preservatives.
Accordingly, the document compiled under the codename ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ also projected that supermarkets will experience weak sales, with shoppers unable to buy available products.
“It’s not just a question of how much milk we have, but milk as an ingredient like skimmed milk powder, and its use in modern food manufacturing in all its complexities,” a senior food industry source said.
However, Michael Gove, the minister in charge of ‘no-deal Brexit’ preparations, refuted the documents even though it was compiled by Cabinet Office, he said it addressed only worst-case scenario and that planning had been accelerated in the last three weeks.
“It is the case, as everyone knows, that if we do have a no-deal exit there will inevitably be some disruption, some bumps in the road. That’s why we want a deal,” Gove told reporters.
“But it is also the case that the UK government is far more prepared now than it was in the past, and it’s also important for people to recognise that what’s being described in these documents… is emphatically a worst-case scenario,” Gove added.
The Times said around 85 percent of trucks plying the main crossing channel won’t be ready for French customs, saying it will lead to substantial disruption at ports and may last up to three months before traffic flow improved.
A government source, however, blamed the leak on an unnamed former minister who wanted to influence negotiations with the EU.
“This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available,” said the source, who declined to be named. “It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.”