British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced harsh criticism on Thursday after a government record was published that a Brexit without a deal could cause problems and shortages of medicines and food.
And the calls multiplied for a reminder of Parliament, suspended at the initiative of the Prime Minister until October 14, just two weeks before the date scheduled for the exit of the European Union.
"The documents confirm the serious risks of a Brexit without an agreement," said Keir Starmer, Brexit Labor Leader, the main opposition party. "It is now important that Parliament be reminded and given the opportunity to review these documents and take all necessary steps to block a Brexit without agreement".
"These documents are the tip of the iceberg." If Mr. Johnson had not closed the Parliament, the deputies would have spent on the grill, "reacted Tom Brake, Deputy Brexit in the little party Europhile Liberal Democrat.
As it was forced by a vote of Parliament, the government released Wednesday night an official file that, according to Downing Street, "the worst case scenario" of the economic and social impact of a Brexit without agreement. This scenario is envisioned by Boris Johnson, who pledged to leave his country "whatever the cost" of the EU on October 31, even though Parliament passed a law requiring it to ask the EU for a postponement. three months to avoid a "no deal".
The document, entitled "Operation Yellowhammer", includes "protests and counter-protests", "risk of public unrest and community tension".
- "Unprecedented" -
For Dominic Grieve, a rebel deputy expelled from the Tories, it is "unprecedented". "Even if we are ready for a + no deal +", its repercussions are "extremely severe and costly" and "people should know what kind of disruption a + no deal + will cause," he told BBC radio4 .
"The government is taking tons of measures to mitigate" the consequences of such a scenario, said Defense Minister Ben Wallace on the same antenna. "There are meetings every day".
The UK authorities foresee short-term disruptions in 12 key areas, including water supply and food, health, transport and borders.
Up to 85% of British heavy goods vehicles may not be able to meet the French customs control criteria, resulting in a "40 to 60% decrease in the current level of traffic". These disruptions could last three months and "have an impact on the supply of medicines and medical equipment", as well as in fresh products.
On the sensitive issue of the border between Northern Ireland (British province) and Ireland (EU member), the document considers "unsustainable" Boris Johnson's plan not to restore physical control, "because of significant economic, legal and biosecurity risks".
Ireland is preparing a 2020 budget based on the assumption of a "no deal", Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said Wednesday, highlighting "uncertainty and lack of clarity on the timing and form "Brexit.
In August, the Sunday Times had obtained and disclosed a copy of Operation Yellowhammer, saying the document mentioned the "most likely" impact of a "no deal".
Downing Street said it was "updating" the document dated August 2nd.
- Legal action -
Contested in Parliament, Boris Johnson is betting on the holding of parliamentary elections to obtain a new majority and have the free hand to negotiate with the EU at the European summit of 17 and 18 October. He tried twice, unsuccessfully, to pass a law providing for a poll October 15.
The government is also challenged in the courts. The North Irish court was considering a new request on Thursday to block its Brexit strategy.
The day before, the Scottish Court of Appeal had ruled the closure of the Parliament "illegal". The government has announced that it wants to appeal to the Supreme Court, and pending the hearing, Parliament remains suspended.
© 2019 AFP