Leaked documents reveal extent of no-deal chaos with food and medicine shortages

Leaked government documents have warned that Britain faces possible food, fuel and medicine shortages in the case of a no-deal Brexit .

There will be a hard border in Ireland and jamming ports if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, according to documents leaked to The Sunday Times.

The forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst case scenarios, said the Times.

They said up to 85 per cent of lorries using the main channel crossings "may not be ready" for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves.

The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic will be likely as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.

"Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation's infrastructure," the Times reported.

"The file, marked "official-sensitive" – requiring security clearance on a "need to know" basis – is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UK's readiness for a no-deal Brexit."

The UK is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as prime minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.

After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May , agreed in November.

Johnson will this week tell French president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.

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