- The former head of the British public service, Lord Bob Kerslik said that these documents are "correct" and "clearly shows the magnitude of the risks that await the country.
- The government said the documents did not represent their expectations, but rather the monitoring of possible scenarios as part of its willingness to exit without agreement.
- Labor leader Jeremy Corbin last week called on lawmakers to work to prevent an exit from the EU without an agreement.
Leaked British government documents say the UK could encounter a shortage of fuel, food, and medicine if they leave the European Union without an agreement in October. The documents, published in the Sunday Times, reveal predictions of chaos in the UK, and the return of roadblocks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which could fuel protests.
The former head of the British public service, Lord Bob Kerslik said that these documents are “correct” and “clearly shows the magnitude of the risks that await the country in various areas in the event of exit without agreement.” He continued: “These are crazy risks, and [we] must search for all possible means to avoid them.”
The government said the documents did not represent their expectations, but rather the monitoring of possible scenarios as part of its willingness to exit without agreement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit Germany and France on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to discuss with EU leaders the need to work on a new Brexit agreement. The British government said of Johnson’s agenda for the visit, “the meetings will focus on foreign policy, security, trade, and the environment ahead of next week’s G7 summit.”
Johnson said, “parliament is not prepared to back away from the 2016 referendum results and a new deal is needed other than that offered by the government of Theresa May.” Also, Johnson stressed the inevitability of his country leaving the EU as scheduled at the end of October, even without an agreement. The leaked documents, issued by the Ministry of Finance, said that the United Kingdom may live in chaos for months. Attempts to avoid the establishment of border barriers between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are also expected to fail.
The list of consequences of going out without agreement include:
- Scarcity of fresh food and high prices.
- Protests in Ireland fueled by the construction of roadblocks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- Fuel shortages and about 2,000 jobs lost once the fuel tax is abolished, which could lead to the closure of two refineries.
- Increased waiting times for drugs, including insulin and flu vaccines.
- General chaos and local conflicts due to lack of food and medicine.
- Travelers delayed at European airports and border points.
- The state of confusion in ports may last for three months, due to customs screening, and then an improvement in tariff imports at a rate of 50-70 percent from the current rate.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbin last week called on lawmakers to work to prevent an exit from the EU without an agreement. He said in a written speech that confidence must be withdrawn from Johnson as interim prime minister, Brexit delayed, and he called for early elections and a campaign for a new referendum.
Corbin told the Observer newspaper that his plan was the “simplest and most democratic” way to prevent an exit without agreement. “This opportunity should be used to decide the future of the country and the unelected prime minister.”