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    Leaked 'Classified' UK Gov't Docs on Brexit Outdated, Gibraltar Says

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    An alleged pack of leaked classified British government documents depicting grim scenarios for the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit was earlier published by a British media outlet. According to it, Britain could suffer a significant collapse of infrastructure, leading to food shortages and transport disruptions.

    Authorities in British overseas territory Gibraltar have denounced an earlier report by The Sunday Times about the area’s ability to cope with no-deal Brexit consequences, based on alleged leaked government documents. Gibraltar's government called the report wrong and out-of-date.

    "We have dealt with all issues relating to the flow of goods, foodstuffs, waste, medicines and the flow of people and vehicles across the frontier", Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said.

    On the same day, Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is responsible for preparing the country to deal with any aftermath of leaving the European Union, has commented on the leaked documents via his Twitter saying that they describe the "worst case scenario". He further added that the new British government has taken steps to minimise the effects of Brexit on the country's economy.

    A separate report by Reuters citing an anonymous UK government source, said that the alleged dossier on possible Brexit aftermath was leaked by a former minister in a bid to affect the current government's efforts to negotiate a new deal with the EU.

    "This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave [without a deal] and the funds were not available. It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders", the source said.

    The Sunday Times reported on 17 August that it had obtained a classified dossier codenamed "Operation Yellowhammer", allegedly depicting the government's plans to cope with a potential infrastructure collapse as a result of a no-deal Brexit scenario. According to the report, London expects "food and medicine shortages, transport disruption and civil unrest" as potential consequences of leaving the EU without reaching a deal.

    A drop in the availability of food could cause a spike in prices, which in turn could affect "vulnerable groups" leading to protests, the alleged dossier said. Significant delays are also expected at EU airports and border checkpoints as well as the establishment of a hard border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Downing Street, in London, Britain July 24, 2019
    © REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY
    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Downing Street, in London, Britain July 24, 2019

    New Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is intending to leave the European Union by 31 October ultimately delivering the Brexit promise regardless of whether a deal will be reached with the bloc or not. Johnson hopes to renegotiate the deal reached by his predecessor Theresa May, despite Brussels repeatedly discarding the idea of changing the existing agreement's provisions.

    The deal, negotiated by May, failed to secure approval in the UK Parliament with many lawmakers, including from May's party, finding the so-called "backstop clause" embedded in it inappropriate. The backstop clause was designed to prevent the creation of a hard border in Ireland via temporarily tying Northern Ireland's regulations to those of the EU until a "soft border" solution is found. Its opponents believe that the backstop can be used to technically keep the UK in the EU's customs union indefinitely, since the clause doesn't have a time limit and London will have no power to unilaterally end it.

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