Thursday 12 September 2019 8:28 am

Labour pushes for parliament recall after Operation Yellowhammer sheds light on no-deal Brexit

Labour has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to recall parliament after the release of Operation Yellowhammer documents the party said showed “severe risks” of a no-deal Brexit.

MPs voted to force Johnson’s government to release the document before he prorogued parliament earlier this week until 14 October.

Read more: Yellowhammer: Government’s no-deal Brexit documents revealed

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said it was necessary to recall MPs to allow them “the opportunity to scrutinise these documents and take all steps necessary to stop no-deal”.


The partly redacted Yellowhammer file, leaked to the Sunday Times last month, warns a no-deal Brexit could result in fewer supplies of some fresh produce and shorter supplies of key ingredients.

Meanwhile food and fuel prices could rise, hitting those on low incomes.

Medicines and medical supplies could suffer disruption for up to six months while lorries could wait for more than two days to cross the Channel to France or from France.

The document also said a no-deal Brexit could trigger protests from both Remainers and Brexiters across the UK.

Michael Gove, who is in charge of preparing the UK for a no-deal Brexit, said he would publish another document outlining “the mitigations the government has put in place and intends to put in place”.

MPs’ demand that the government publish emails, texts and Whatsapp messages between Dominic Cummings – Johnson’s top advier – and others was blocked.

Gove called the request “unreasonable and disproportionate”.


The five-page Operation Yellowhammer document has been published on the government’s website after MPs defeated the government in the Commons on Monday.

Aside from its other warnings, the document also said panic buying could result in food supply issues and a low possibility that there wouldn’t be enough chemicals to ensure clean water access is widespread.

Meanwhile it warned that UK attempts to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are “likely to prove unsustainable”.

Read more: Angela Merkel still thinks there’s a chance of an ‘orderly’ Brexit

Despite Gove’s £100m public awareness campaign, Yellowhammer documents also predicted that readiness among people and businesses for no deal would remain low.

That is because the Brexit process still remains uncertain as the UK and EU attempt to reach a deal before the 31 October deadline.

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