The military may be drafted in to airdrop food to the Channel Islands under emergency plans drawn up by the government to protect the UK if a second coronavirus wave coincides with a no-deal Brexit.
A Cabinet Office “reasonable worst-case scenario” document, leaked to the Sun newspaper, also discusses using the Navy to stop British fishermen clashing with illegal European fishing boat incursions.
The document says parts of the UK may face power and petrol shortages if thousands of lorries are stranded in Dover. Meanwhile, shortages of medicines caused by port blockages could lead to animal diseases spreading through the countryside.
The classified document, dated July 2020, further warns that town halls could go bust, and if trade restrictions triggered by a no-deal Brexit are combined with floods, flu and another coronavirus (Covid-19) wave, then hospitals may be overwhelmed.
Scientists are fearful that the winter months could bring about a second wave of coronavirus in the UK.
Moreover, the dossier discusses the possibility of drafting troops on to the streets if the economic toll causes public disorder, shortages and price hikes.
UK and EU negotiators have warned that there’s been little progress during the latest round of post-Brexit trade deal talks in August. And time is running out to broker a deal before the transition period comes to a close on 31 December.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said:
We got Brexit done with a great deal in January and we are working flat out to make sure the United Kingdom is ready for the changes and huge opportunities at the end of the year as we regain our political and economic independence for the first time in almost fifty years.
Part of this work includes routine contingency planning for various scenarios that we do not think will happen, but we must be ready for come what may.
A government spokesperson added:
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 but rather a stretching scenario. It reflects a responsible Government ensuring we are ready for all eventualities.
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