A ‘doomsday dossier’ has been drawn up in case of a perfect storm of a winter second wave of coronavirus and a No Deal Brexit.
The leaked official papers will heap pressure on ministers to prepare the NHS and strike a deal with the EU.
Marked ‘Official Sensitive’, the plans – which account for a ‘worst case scenario’ – include the Royal Navy having to protect UK fishing boats from foreign incursions.
The Cabinet Office’s EU transition taskforce presented the blueprint to ministers and officials amid warnings that negotiations with Brussels are ‘frozen’.
A ‘doomsday dossier’ has been drawn up by Boris Johnson’s (pictured) government in case of a perfect storm of a winter second wave of coronavirus and a No Deal Brexit
It is feared that hospitals could be overwhelmed if restrictions on trade sparked by a No Deal scenario are combined with floods, flu and Covid 19. There may be power and fuel shortages if thousands of lorries get stuck at Dover
No Deal could lead to shortages of the 30 per cent of the nation’s food that is imported from the EU
It is feared that hospitals could be overwhelmed if restrictions on trade sparked by a No Deal scenario are combined with floods, flu and Covid 19. There may also be power and fuel shortages if thousands of lorries get stuck at Dover.
In the ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ animal disease might rip through the countryside due to shortages of medicines.
The Channel Islands could need military airdrops to avoid running out of food, the dossier reported. It warns the Royal Navy might be needed to stop British fishermen clashing with hundreds of illegal European fishing boat incursions.
The document is designed to kickstart ministers into a major planning operation to see off potential disaster, including a scenario in which one in 20 town halls could go bust.
The government have drawn up battle plans for the possibility of being hit with a second wave of coronavirus and a No-Deal Brexit simultaneously, it has been claimed
EU trade talks have stagnated, with chief negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) warning a deal now seems unlikely before December
EU trade talks have stagnated, with chief negotiator Michel Barnier warning a deal now seems unlikely before December.
The talks are likely to continue until the last minute and may still collapse, meaning the UK will leave on No Deal terms when transitional arrangements end in January.
It means that goods crossing the Channel will face mandatory controls from day one – with warnings that around half of hauliers are not prepared for them. This could mean long queues building up for months across Kent.
It might lead to shortages of the 30 per cent of the nation’s food that is imported from the EU, as well as of medicines, chemicals for drinking water purification and fuel supply, warns the document, which was leaked to The Sun on Sunday.
This could trigger water rationing and even power cuts. The economic impact of the virus and Brexit could also fuel public disorder, shortages and price hikes.
Michael Gove, pictured, has intensified his efforts to prepare for a No Deal Brexit as talks with the EU continue to stall and Michael Barnier complains they’re going ‘backwards’ (file photo)
Troops may need to be drafted on to the streets to help the police in the worst-case scenario – 1,500 are already on standby.
Social distancing measures and masks will have to continue until 2021 regardless of what else happens.
Supplies of food and fuel will all be under threat this Christmas if Dover becomes blocked, triggering concerns of panic buying at the busiest time of the year.
Whitehall fears there could be a second wave of the virus, with planners warning this coupled with flu, severe flooding and an unruly exit from the EU transition period could cause a ‘systemic economic crisis with major impact on disposable incomes, unemployment, business activity, international trade and market stability’.
The document warns the NHS could be overwhelmed by a ‘one in 40-year flu scenario alongside even a continuation of the current levels of C19 and significantly overwhelmed in any level of second peak’.
It also says that 5 per cent of councils in England ‘are already at high risk of financial failure following Covid-19’.
It means some town halls may be declared bankrupt and need bailing out or may need to be under the direct control of Whitehall departments.
It also says inflation could ‘significantly impact social care providers due to increasing staff and supply costs’.
Gibraltar and the Channel Islands, which are both reliant on imports, could be affected by a No Deal departure.
Gibraltar could be cut off from Spain and economically crippled and the Channel Islands might need airdrops of medicines and food.
Three quarters of UK medicine imports come through Dover, and many have a limited shelf life – making stockpiling difficult.
Animals could also suffer, as there has been a decline in animal vaccine production during the coronavirus crisis.
Cabinet Office preparations to deal with the crisis include extensive winter planning with an extra £3billion for the NHS and an extra £600million for social care.
A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘As a responsible Government we continue to make extensive preparations for a wide range of scenarios, including the reasonable worst case. This is not a forecast or prediction of what will happen.’
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