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Operation Yellowhammer unveils horror for UK economy in no-deal Brexit

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
The Yellowhammer report shows the potential issues of a no-deal Brexit. Photo: Getty

Everything that was classed as “Project Fear” — a smear campaign against those who support staying in the European Union — will come true in a no-deal Brexit, according to the details from the government’s Operation Yellowhammer contingency plan.

MPs forced the government, which is led by staunch Brexiteer prime minister Boris Johnson, to release documents related to how it predicts a no-deal Brexit will affect the UK and what it will do to prepare for those consequences. It is classed as a series of "reasonable worst case assumptions" if Britain exits the EU without an agreement in place.

The report detailed how food prices will rise, that there will be a reduction in the availability of medical supplies and other essentials, which would also lead to riots and other civil unrest.

Other major issues cited in the report reveal a nightmare scenario for the UK, which will impact the economy, including how some businesses will cease to trade, leading to the growth of a black market.

READ MORE: What Operation Yellowhammer means for you: Food, water, disorder

Imports and exports will also be severely disrupted as lorries could have to wait more than two days to cross borders due to the absence of rules and regulations.

The shadow Brexit secretary from Britain’s main opposition Labour, Keir Starmer, said in a statement: "These documents confirm the severe risks of a no-deal Brexit, which Labour has worked so hard to block.

"It is completely irresponsible for the government to have tried to ignore these stark warnings and prevent the public from seeing the evidence."

Meanwhile, MPs also voted for all internal correspondence and communications between people advising the government related to Brexit to be handed over for scrutiny. This includes WhatsApp messages and emails.

However, one of Boris Johnson’s most senior cabinet colleagues said that ministers were ultimately responsible and accountable for actions parliament take, so, therefore, it is "inappropriate in principle, and in practice, would on its own terms, purport to require the government to contravene the law, and is singularly unfair to the named individuals” to release those communications.