Brexit – Worst case for non-consensual exit is likely to lead to major outages

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The worst-case scenario in the British government is that major trade disruptions, some food shortages, could be caused by the disruption of British EU membership.

A six-page stress study was released late Wednesday night by the Conservative British government following a decision by the London House of Lords earlier this week.
In the run-up to the parliamentary decision, details leaked to the conservative Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times last month about a confidential contingency plan, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer, to assess the worst possible consequences of a disorderly Brexit.
The worst-case scenario officially released Wednesday night in government scenarios is that France will control goods coming from Britain on the first day after a disorderly Brexit.
The document estimates that 50 to 85 percent of lorry operators crossing the English Channel in this case may not be ready for customs checks in France.
Transporters’ lack of preparedness and scarce parking space in French ports could reduce the volume of freight passing through the Channel by 40 to 60 percent compared to the current level, according to a government study.
According to the analysis, the resulting commodity turmoil may last up to three months, and any improvement thereafter would only mean that the volume of commodity traffic on the Channel will increase to 50-70 percent of its current level.
According to the document, disruptions in some areas can last much longer.
In a stressful scenario, this could mean that trucks in Kent County, south-east England, where roads to the busiest ferry ports are located, may have to wait one and a half to two days before they can cross the continent.
Independent analysts do not consider much more disruption than Brexit without agreement.
A recent impact study by University College London (UCL) estimates that the average number of lorries on the roads to the South East of England on the busiest days of the week would be 1,200 to 2,724 with just 70 seconds per vehicle, which would mean a truck would have to wait an average of six days to cross this route.
According to a UCL study, a trucker entering this queue on Monday would cross the continent on Saturday afternoon.
Another study by Imperial College London, a renowned university in London, found that if every truck on the French side were to be cleared for four minutes, it would cause a 47-kilometer congestion on the British side of the Dover harbor.
The British government’s stress scenario released Wednesday night says the drug and medical supplies network is particularly reliant on the shortest route through the Channel: three quarters of these products arrive in the UK and disruptions can last up to six months for this product group.
Decreasing, delaying or stopping the import of veterinary products can hinder the prevention or control of the spread of epidemics, which can also cause human health and food safety problems, the government study said.
According to the analysis, the selection of certain fresh foods in the UK may also be reduced.
General food shortages are not expected to occur, but narrowing food choice and availability will lead to higher prices. In addition, by the end of the October Brexit date, the UK harvest season is coming to an end and this would put additional pressure on food supplier networks, especially as Christmas approaches, the busiest time for food retailing, according to the stress scenario released Wednesday night.
The same problem has already been brought to the attention of the government by the industry.
A joint call from trade organizations in the retail sector in the UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland, said a few months ago, that in the case of Brexit without an agreement food supplies from the EU could get stuck at border crossings due to customs controls and other shortages. it can also make certain foods and other products narrower.

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