Wednesday, a five-page document spelling out the government’s “planning assumptions” under Operation Yellowhammer – the government’s no-deal plan – was disclosed in response to a “humble address” motion.
According to these secret documents the government was forced by MPs to publish, a no-deal Brexit could result in rising food and fuel prices, disruption to medicine supplies and public disorder on Britain’s streets.
The content of the document was strikingly similar to the plan leaked to the Sunday Times in August, which the government dismissed at the time as out of date.
That document was described as a “base case”; but the new document claims to be a “worst-case scenario”.
Led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, and passed by the House of Commons on Monday night as Boris Johnson prepared to suspend parliament, the motion demanded the publication of the documents, large sections of which had been leaked in August.
At the time, Downing Street claimed the document had been superseded, and government sources suggested it had been leaked by disaffected former ministers. Former chancellor Philip Hammond later demanded an apology from Johnson, when it emerged the date on the document was August, after the PM took power.
The document, which says it outlines “reasonable worst case planning assumptions” for no-deal Brexit, highlights the risk of border delays, given an estimate that up to 85% of lorries crossing the Channel might not be ready for a new French customs regime.