Sunday 23 August 2020 3:38 pm

Cabinet draws up plans for simultaneous no-deal Brexit and second Covid wave

The government has drawn up plans to deal simultaneously with a second coronavirus wave and the effects of a no-deal Brexit after December 31.

The Cabinet Office’s emergency plans include telling the Navy to protect the UK’s waters from illegal EU fishing boats and deploying the army on Brtain’s streets to quell civil unrest.

Read more: Brexit negotiations: Deal ‘will not be easy to achieve’

The plans were shown to government ministers as a slide show, which was then leaked to The Sun.

They were drawn up by the Cabinet Office’s EU Transition Task Force and they have painted a potential nightmarish scenario for the UK in just five months’ time.

The plans came with a set of potential scenarios, which included food and fuel shortages, price hikes and public disorder if a second Covid-19 wave happened at the same time as the UK left the EU transition period without a deal.

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The worst-case scenario predicted the potential for 8,500 trucks to get stuck at the port at Dover, which would severely disrupt the country’s supply chains.

It also came with the prediction that a second coronavirus wave could bankrupt one in 20 councils.

The leak of the document comes as UK and EU negotiators said on Friday that they had made no progress on a post-Brexit trade deal.

The latest formal round of negotiations wrapped up on Friday morning, with UK chief negotiator David Frost saying a deal would “not be easy to achieve”.

Read more: Brexit free trade talks stalled over UK truckers’ access to EU

He said little progress had been made on the most contentious areas – EU access to UK fishing waters, business competition regulations known as the level playing field and overall governance of the deal.

Both sides have said a deal must be agreed in principle by October to give the European parliament enough time to ratify it by the 31 December deadline.

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