Do you remember the British government report that predicted a hard, no-deal Brexit would lead to shortages of food and medicine and possibly the collapse of entire industries?
When that report was leaked to the British press last month, members of Boris Johnson's regime minimized it by saying the report was prepared by the government under former Prime Minister Theresa May and did not reflect the steps they were taking to prepare for a hard Brexit.
A current version of that report has been released by the government under Boris Johnson and it says pretty much the same damn thing.
The document, which looks at the worst that could happen if Britain leaves the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal, said public and business readiness for such an outcome would likely be low, in part because of continued political confusion in the run-up to Brexit day.
It said lorries could have to wait up to two and a half days to cross the English Channel and British citizens could be subject to increased immigration checks at EU border posts.
“Certain types of fresh food supply will decrease,” it said. “There is a risk that panic buying will cause or exacerbate food supply disruption.” [...]
Michael Gove, the minister in charge of coordinating “no-deal” preparations, said [August 18th] that the document was old and did not reflect current levels of preparedness.
He said on Wednesday that assumptions contained in the five-page published document were currently being reviewed, but they were the most recent complete iteration of the plans.
As we noted when the report was leaked last month, there was no reason to think the government's official predictions for a hard Brexit would change dramatically, but it turns out they haven't changed at all.
The Johnson regime has made more funding available to hire immigration and customs officers, but that's like preparing for flu season by drinking a glass of orange juice. It's a drop in the bucket.
The best solution is to cancel the Brexit.
In related news, British supermarkets are warning the government that a hard Brexit on October 31st will lead to a holiday full of empty tables.
U.K. supermarkets issued their starkest warnings yet about Brexit, saying it’s weighing on consumer confidence, splitting communities and threatening to leave holiday dining tables short of fresh food.
The Oct. 31 date for Britain leaving the European Union comes at the most crucial time for the industry in the run-up to Black Friday and Christmas, and the prospect of a no-deal scenario is worsening the outlook, according to John Lewis Partnership Plc, the owner of high-end grocer Waitrose.
“Should the U.K. leave the EU without a deal, we expect the effect to be significant and it will not be possible to mitigate that impact,” Chairman Charlie Mayfield said in a statement.