With No Deal rapidly moving from 'Project Fear' to a real possibility, here are some of the ways the government is wholly unprepared for it.
A revelation by BBC Newsnight poured cold water over the government’s plan to simply buy unsold lamb in the event of a No Deal Brexit. The industry body that represents frozen food storage business revealed they simply did not have the storage capacity.
But the depth of the lack of preparation goes far beyond potential tons of meat destined for the EU simply rotting away.
Here are some of the ways this government is not prepared for a No Deal Brexit:
A disruption to supplies will mean empty supermarket shelves within weeks, as major consumer and food organisations warn of the ‘disastrous’ effect on food availability.
Major supermarket chains have already started stockpiling fresh produce in preparation. But a combination of the ‘just in time’ supply chain and lack of storage space means this is a band aid.
Leave voters invoke a return to being self-sustaining and returning to a diet of parsnips, potatoes and the Blitz spirit. But this is the country where police were called when KFC ran out of chicken.
Lack of medicines
Uncertainty surrounding No Deal means that people have already started stockpiling medicines, leading to shortages in many common drugs.
After the collapse of the ferry transport agreement curtesy of uniquely incompetent former transport secretary Chris Grayling, there is no clear plan in place for medicine imports post-Brexit.
Food and medicine shortages could lead to riots in prisons across the country, revealed a consultancy contracted to assess the risks of No Deal by the Ministry of Justice.
The improperly redacted sections, not meant to be seen by the public, showed the potential impact on an already dangerously overstretched prison system.
Lorries to and from the continent already face significant congestion at Calais even under the frictionless trade arrangement. Waits from three hour to a whopping nine hours are not uncommon.
French authorities warned that even a two-minute border delay could lead 27,000 vehicles stranded on both sides of the channel. With traffic officers given the power to demand driver’s papers, the congestion and chaos will only increase.
Holidaymakers could face a return to the unwelcome reality of mobile roaming charges when travelling to the continent. Without EU regulations removing those charges, customers will have to depend on the largesse of mobile providers.
Travellers will also lose the ability to access platforms like Netflix in the EU, due to the loss of portability regulation.
Of course, with the plunging Pound making holidays unaffordable, this will be a non-issue for many.
Flight passenger rights
We all know that Brexit means scrapping those burdensome EU regulations, including the one protecting your passenger rights if your flight is cancelled.
Passengers are currently entitled to up to €600 compensation for delays over three hours, cancelled flights and being denied boarding. Whether such protections will be in place in a No Deal Free Market paradise is very much in question.
The NHS will be hit particularly hard by a No Deal Brexit (or any kind of Brexit), as it will struggle both to recruit and retain much-needed doctors and nurses.
The British Medical Association warned that with 10,000 doctoral vacancies, they ‘can’t afford to lose a single doctor let alone several thousand’.
Another way No Deal with harm patients is through the end of reciprocal health care agreements, giving EU nationals here and Brits in Europe access to the healthcare system.
The new Tory party orthodoxy is of course that No Deal is Not Big Deal, and that the scenario was always on the table.
Brexit enthusiast Dominic Raab claimed that he spoke about No Deal in the lead-up to the referendum, when in fact what he said was there was ‘no doubt’ a deal would be secured.
Boris Johnson himself while campaigning for Vote Leave called the prospect of any trading tariffs with the EU ‘utterly absurd’. Which, to be fair, are the words many would have used a few years ago about the prospect of him as PM.
Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?
Leave a Reply