Anna’s Blog – ‘Yellowhammer’ confirms Brexit fears
The details of Operation Yellowhammer, finally released earlier this week have confirmed some of my worst fears about a ‘no deal Brexit.’ It will be as I, and so many others have predicted, the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country who will be the hardest hit.
The document says the supply of certain types of fresh food ‘will decrease’ and ‘critical dependencies for the food chain’ such as key ingredients ‘may be in shorter supply.’
It says ‘these factors will not lead to overall food shortages but will reduce the availability and choice of products and will increase price, which could impact vulnerable groups.’
The document says ‘the flow of cross-Channel goods could face significant disruption lasting up to six months.’
The reality of that will be large amounts of imported fresh food left rotting in the back of wagons while whatever reaches the supermarket shelves will be scarce and expensive. Price rises will hit people on low incomes hard and people will inevitably have poorer diets.
Even more worrying the document concedes that: ‘the reliance of medicines and medical products’ supply chains on the short straits crossing make them particularly vulnerable to severe extended delays. Unmitigated, this will have an impact on the supply of medicines and medical supplies,’ it says.
Retailers said the document confirmed what they have been saying will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“Fresh food availability will decrease, consumer choice will decrease, and prices will rise,” said Helen Dickinson of the British Retail Consortium.
The British Medical Association described the Yellowhammer file as “alarming” and that it confirmed its warnings about no-deal, including the threat of medical supply shortages.
Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “These documents confirm the severe risks of a no-deal Brexit. It is completely irresponsible for the government to have tried to ignore these stark warnings and prevent the public from seeing the evidence.”
MPs voted on Monday to order the release of all internal correspondence and communications, including e-mails, texts and WhatsApp messages, between nine No 10 advisers relating to Parliament’s suspension. But the government has said it will not comply with the MPs’ request, citing potential legal breaches of data protection and employment rights.
Although I’m still hoping a ‘no deal Brexit ‘will be avoided, Creative Support does have a contingency plan in place. We operate exclusively within the UK, providing health and social care to adults resident in England only and there are no major concerns about the organisation’s ability to continue operating as a business after we leave the EU.
The Yellowhammer files have confirmed there will be shortages in medicines, medical supplies, fresh food and disruption to fuel supplies. Our dedicated teams of support workers and managers will do everything they can to minimise the impact on the people we support. However, the Government must provide clear direction to local authorities, in their statutory lead role for emergency planning, to make arrangements for the rationing or prioritisation of essential medical supplies and fuel, in the event that this is needed.