British government believes hard border is ‘inevitable’ in event of no-deal Brexit
The British government believes a hard border on the island of Ireland is “inevitable” in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to documents leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper yesterday.
The official government documents warn that Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The Times said the forecasts compiled by the UK Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst-case scenarios.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said it did not comment on leaked documents.
The newspaper said up to 85% of lorries using the main channel crossings “may not be ready” for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves.
The UK government also believes a hard border in Ireland will be likely as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.
“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure,” the Times reported.
“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.”
Michael Gove, the minister in charge of coordinating preparations for leaving the EU without a deal, has said the documents are based on “a worst-case scenario”.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the EU on 31 October without a deal unless the EU agrees to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement.
After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the agreement, which includes the backstop, a mechanism to avoid a hard border that Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November.