Leaked government documents detailing Brexit preparations, code-named Operation Yellowhammer, suggests that extended delays to medicine supplies and shortages of fresh foods, together with price rises, are likely in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.
The documents predict a hard border on the island of Ireland and a “three-month meltdown” at ro/ro ports unable to cope with extra checks. Protests could break out across the UK and two oil refineries could close, with thousands of job losses, according to the documents.
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The Freight Transport Association (FTA) reacted to the idea of fuel shortages. “This is the first time the industry is learning of any threat to fuel supplies – a particularly worrying situation, as this would affect the movement of goods across the country, not just to and from Europe, and could put jobs at risk throughout the sector which keeps Britain trading.”
After the Yellowhammer report emerged, government figures moved to dismiss its warnings. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister in charge of no-deal planning, said the document showed “absolutely the worst case”, and it was an “old document” that did not reflect significant steps taken over the last four weeks.
Over the coming days and weeks, we are expecting Government to ramp up communications to businesses in the UK, either directly or via Trade Associations to inform them of actions they should take to prepare to leave the EU without a deal on 31 October.
We will monitor and share important guidance, as it becomes available. In the meantime:
1. You’ll need an EORI number that starts to move goods in or out of the UK if there’s no Brexit deal. The Government announced yesterday that all VAT-registered firms in the UK – which had not already signed up – would receive an EORI number within the next two weeks.
2. Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) defer VAT/Duty payments and simplify Custom declarations and imports through ro/ro ports. Talk to us today if you want to learn more.
3. Check the guidance the Government has published about the changes that will affect them.
4. Stay up to date with important new information by signing up to HMRC’s EU Exit alert service.
The Government’s Border Delivery Group presentation, HMG Day 1 No Deal (D1ND) RoRo Business Requirements, consolidates all current planning into a single document and has just been made public. You can download a copy HERE