Andrea Leadsom suggests no-deal documents will not be released as they would ‘concern’ public

Posted On: 
11th September 2019

Andrea Leadsom has suggested that ministers will not release documents demanded by MPs on the impact of a no-deal Brexit because they would “concern” the public.

Andrea Leadsom said the Yellowhammer documents represented a "worst case scenario"
PA Images

The Business Secretary insisted the so-called Operation Yellowhammer documents represented the “worst case scenario” of leaving without a deal rather than a “prediction” and compared it to her being “run over”.

MPs voted in a motion, put forward by former Tory rebel Dominic Grieve on Monday, which demanded that Downing Street publish the information by Wednesday evening.

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A leak involving the documents last month suggested that Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

But Ms Leadsom told BBC Breakfast: “I actually do not think that it serves people well to see what is absolutely the worst thing that could happen.”

“The worst thing that could happen to me is I could walk out of here and get run over. It is not a prediction, but it is something that could happen.

“And simply putting out there all of the possible permutations of what could happen actually just serves to concern people.

“Whereas what the Government is doing is working flat out to ensure that in all circumstances, including in the event of no-deal, we have a smooth transition for the United Kingdom.

“There is so much work underway to make sure that in all circumstances the UK will absolutely thrive once we leave the European Union.”

MPs had called for the release of “all the documents prepared within government since 23 July 2019 relating to Operation Yellowhammer and submitted to the cabinet or a cabinet committee".

The motion also demanded the release of WhatsApp messages and emails involving Boris Johnson's top advisers relating to his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks.

But the Prime Minister’s spokesman on Tuesday dismissed the MPs’ demands as “both disproportionate and unprecedented”.

“We’ve said we’ll consider the implications of the vote and respond in due course,” they said.