Brexit without trade deal may result in shortages
British civil servants are warning of possible food, fuel and medicine shortages within weeks if the U.K. leaves the European Union without a trade deal, the Sunday Times reported.
These government officials have modeled three potential scenarios for a “no deal” Brexit: mild, severe and “Armageddon.”The report said under the “severe” scenario, the English Channel ferry port of Dover would “collapse on day one” and supermarkets and hospitals would soon run short of supplies.
The U.K.’s Department for Exiting the European Union rejected the downbeat scenario, saying it was drawing up no-deal plans but was confident “none of this would come to pass.”
Britain is seeking to create trade relations with the EU before the March 29, 2019 date when it is set to officially leave the EU bloc. Both Britain and the EU are aiming to strike an overall Brexit agreement by October, so parliaments in other EU nations have time to ratify it before Britain leaves the bloc.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government is split between ministers who favor a “hard Brexit,” that would leave Britain freer to strike new trade deals around the world, and those who want to keep the country closely aligned to the EU, Britain’s biggest trading partner.
This split has led to some frustration within the EU leadership, due to what it see as a “lack of firm proposals” coming from the U.K. over how to resolve major issues around customs arrangements and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. That will be the U.K.’s only land border with the EU after Britain leaves the bloc.