Brexit: Boris Johnson says no-deal food, fuel and medicine shortages are 'bumps in the road'

Boris Johnson has insisted that potential food, fuel and medicine shortages, months of chaos at ports and possible recession under a no-deal Brexit are merely “bumps in the road”.

The prime minister pushed back against concern over a secret Whitehall dossier – known as Operation Yellowhammer – which laid bare the “most likely aftershocks” for the UK in the event of a disorderly Brexit. The leaked document, which contains detailed no-deal contingency plans, has sparked concerns amongst MPs, but No 10 said the dossier was “out of date” and the UK was making all the “necessary preparations” for such a scenario

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It comes as Mr Johnson rejected demands from more than 100 MPs for parliament to be recalled to discuss the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit, supported by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The prime minister is expected to spell out his commitment to leaving the EU on 31 October – with or without a deal – when he meets German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron this week.

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Jacob Rees Mogg appointed Leader of the Commons

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Esther McVey appointed housing secretary

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Baroness Evans remains Leader of Lords

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Alister jack appointed Scottish secretary

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Alun Cairns remains Welsh secretary

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Grant Shapps appointed transport secretary

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Robert Buckland appointed justice secretary

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Robert Jenrick appointed housing and communities secretary

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Andrea Leadsom appointed business secretary

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Gavin Williamson appointed education secretary

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Liz Truss is appointed international trade secretary

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Ben Wallace appointed defence secretary

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Stephen Barclay remains EU secretary

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Dominic Raab appointed foreign secretary

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Priti Patel appointed home secretary

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Michael Gove given Chandellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

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Sajid Javid is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Jeremy Hunt sacked as foreign secretary

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Matt Hancock remains health secretary

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Chris Grayling resigned as transport secretary

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Jeremy Wright sacked as culture secretary

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Karen Bradley sacked as Northern Ireland secretary

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James Brokenshire sacked as housing and communities secretary

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Penny Mourdaunt sacked as defence secretary

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Liam Fox sacked as international trade secretary

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34/40 Out: Greg Clarke

Greg Clarke sacked as business secretary

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David Mundell sacked as Scottish secretary

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Damien Hinds sacked as education secretary

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David Gauke resigned as justice secretary

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38/40 Out: Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart resigned as international development secretary

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David Lidlington resigned as deputy Prime Minister

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Philip Hammond resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer

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1/40 In: Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees Mogg appointed Leader of the Commons

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2/40 In: Esther McVey

Esther McVey appointed housing secretary

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3/40 In: Jo Johnson

Jo Johnson appointed new business and energy secretary

EPA

4/40 In: Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis appointed immigration secretary

Getty

5/40 In: James Cleverly

James Cleverly appointed Conservative Party chairman

PA

6/40 In: Baroness Evans

Baroness Evans remains Leader of Lords

PA

7/40 In: Julian Smith

Julian Smith appointed Northern Irish secretary

Reuters

8/40 In: Alister Jack

Alister jack appointed Scottish secretary

PA

9/40 In: Alun Cairns

Alun Cairns remains Welsh secretary

AFP/Getty

10/40 In: Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps appointed transport secretary

Getty

11/40 In: Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma appointed international development secretary

AFP/Getty

12/40 In: Robert Buckland

Robert Buckland appointed justice secretary

Getty

13/40 In: Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd remains work and pensions secretary

Getty

14/40 In: Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick appointed housing and communities secretary

AFP/Getty

15/40 In: Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom appointed business secretary

Reuters

16/40 In: Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan appointed culture secretary

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17/40 In: Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson appointed education secretary

AFP/Getty

18/40 In: Theresa Villiers

Theresa Villiers appointed environment secretary

AFP/Getty

19/40 In: Liz Truss

Liz Truss is appointed international trade secretary

Reuters

20/40 In: Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace appointed defence secretary

EPA

21/40 In: Stephen Barclay

Stephen Barclay remains EU secretary

AFP/Getty

22/40 In: Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab appointed foreign secretary

AFP/Getty

23/40 In: Priti Patel

Priti Patel appointed home secretary

AFP/Getty

24/40 In: Michael Gove

Michael Gove given Chandellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

AFP

25/40 In: Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer

AP

26/40 Out: Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt sacked as foreign secretary

Reuters

27/40 In: Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock remains health secretary

AFP/Getty

28/40 Out: Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling resigned as transport secretary

Getty

29/40 Out: Jeremy Wright

Jeremy Wright sacked as culture secretary

PA

30/40 Out: Karen Bradley

Karen Bradley sacked as Northern Ireland secretary

Getty

31/40 Out: James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire sacked as housing and communities secretary

Reuters

32/40 Out: Penny Mordaunt

Penny Mourdaunt sacked as defence secretary

Reuters

33/40 Out: Liam Fox

Liam Fox sacked as international trade secretary

Getty

34/40 Out: Greg Clarke

Greg Clarke sacked as business secretary

PA

35/40 Out: David Mundell

David Mundell sacked as Scottish secretary

Getty

36/40 Out: Damien Hinds

Damien Hinds sacked as education secretary

Getty

37/40 Out: David Gauke

David Gauke resigned as justice secretary

EPA

38/40 Out: Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart resigned as international development secretary

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39/40 Out: David Lidlington

David Lidlington resigned as deputy Prime Minister

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40/40 Out: Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Asked about the Operation Yellowhammer documents on a visit to Cornwall, Mr Johnson said: “I’m not going to suggest that there won’t be – as I said on the steps of Downing Street – there may well be bumps in the road but we will be ready to come out on October 31, deal or no deal.

“Now of course our friends and partners on the other side of the Channel are showing a little bit of reluctance at the moment to change their position.

“That’s fine – I’m confident that they will – but in the meantime we have to get ready for a no deal outcome.

“I want a deal. We’re ready to work with our friends and partners to get a deal but if you want a good deal for the UK, you must simultaneously get ready to come out without one.

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The leaked document, published by the Sunday Times, warned that Britain will be hit with a three-month “meltdown” at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if the UK leaves without an agreement. Business leaders have demanded an independent investigation into the impact of no-deal, after being caught by surprise over the predicted fuel shortages in the document.

James Hookham, of the Freight Transport Association, told the Evening Standard: “If there is a risk of a serious threat to the distribution of normal goods within the UK, that is a massive concern and something we would clearly like to understand better.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also raised serious concerns, telling an audience in Corby: “The chaos and dislocation of Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit is real and threatening as the government’s leaked Operation Yellowhammer dossier makes clear.

“That’s why we will do everything we can to stop it.”

But a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “In recent weeks we have significantly stepped up our preparations for leaving the EU across a whole range of areas.”

A “large-scale public information campaign” is expected to begin shortly, while government websites are being upgraded to cope with an expected surge in traffic.

Michael Gove, the minister charged with leading no-deal planning, is expected to update MPs on developments when the Commons resumes sitting in September.

Meanwhile, the prime minister is expected to travel to Berlin and Paris for talks with Ms Merkel and Mr Macron later this week, ahead of the G7 summit in France at the weekend.

Downing Street made it clear that Brexit negotiations could only resume once the Irish backstop had been stripped from any deal on the table.

A No10 spokesperson said: “We have been clear that what the EU need to understand is unless the Withdrawal Agreement can be reopened and the backstop abolished, there isn’t any prospect of a deal.”

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