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No-deal Brexit worst-case scenario will see food choices reduced, says UK document

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LONDON — The U.K. will face a reduction in the availability and choice of food, pushing up prices in a Brexit “worst-case” scenario, according to a U.K. government document published Wednesday.

The government released a five-page “Operation Yellowhammer” summary, after MPs voted to force its release on Monday using an ancient parliamentary device known as a Humble Address.

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 06: In this photo illustration, a basket of goods is seen in a supermarket on February 6, 2018 in Bristol, England. The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has called for the UK Government to drop the Retail Price Index as a measure of inflation which is used to set rail fares, student loan repayments and government contracts worth billions of pounds, because it has known errors. According to the Office of National Statistics the RPI has a number of calculation errors and has consistently overestimated inflation meaning many costs set by the RPI have risen too high, whilst beneficiaries of government bonds have had larger than expected returns, funded by the taxpayer. Because RPI is typically higher than the Bank’s preferredmeasure of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index, many experts believe it paints an unrealistic picture of the cost of living and both the government and businesses have developed a habit of choosing which ever inflation measures that best suit their interests. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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The Operation Yellowhammer document said: “The UK reverts fully to ‘third country’ status. The relationship between the UK and the EU as a whole is unsympathetic, with many [member states] (under pressure from the Commission) unwilling to engage bilaterally and implementing protections unilaterally.”

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In a letter to former Attorney General Dominic Grieve and Labour MP Hilary Benn, who spearheaded the cross-party effort to get the document published, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, who is in charge of no-deal planning, said he had provided the “most recent complete iteration” of the government’s no-deal planning assumptions, which are codenamed Yellowhammer.

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Much of the content of the Operation Yellowhammer report had already been leaked to the Sunday Times. Gove said at the time it was an “old” document.

The document also warns that there could be up to three months of Channel crossing disruption. It warns medicine supply chains could be “particularly vulnerable” to extended delays, and a chemical “supply chain failure” could mean urgent action is needed to make sure people have clean water.

No-deal Brexit worst-case scenario will see food choices reduced, says UK document

LONDON – The U.K. will face a reduction in the availability and choice of food, pushing up prices in a Brexit “worst-case” scenario, according to a U.K. government document published Wednesday. The government released a five-page “Operation Yellowhammer” summary, after MPs voted to force its release on Monday using an ancient parliamentary device known as a Humble Address.

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