No-deal Brexit could lead to 'consumer panic' and rise in organised crime, government document warns

Posted On: 
2nd August 2019

A no-deal Brexit could lead to "consumer panic", rising crime, food shortages and economic chaos, according to an official government document.

Boris Johnson has said the UK must leave 'do or die' on 31 October.
Credit: 
PA Images

The grim assessment by civil servants shows what could possibly happen in the first month after the UK crashes out of the European Union.

Boris Johnson has insisted that Brexit must happen "do or die" on 31 October.

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According to the internal government document, which was uncovered by Sky News, the first day could see UK nationals in the EU lose access to residence rights, slower trade at the border and volatility in the currency and financial markets.

Within the first fortnight, the document predicts "potential consumer panic and food shortages", and an increased risk of serious organised crime including people smuggling.

And within the first month, the civil servants forecast "potential law and order challenges" in Northern Ireland, UK residents in the EU having to return to Britain, "unsustanable" pressure on the police and a potential 25% drop in the value of the pound.

Boris Johnson has insisted that the UK will leave the EU "come what may" on 31 October.

He has also ruled out entering into fresh negotiations with Brussels unless they agree to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement and ditch the Northern Ireland backstop.

Downing Street sources insisted the forecasts, which were drawn up before Mr Johnson entered Number 10, were "worst case" scenarios and had not been signed off by ministers.

Chancellor Sajid Javid has made an extra £2.1bn available to help the UK cope with the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit.

UNAFFORDABLE

Meanwhile, Labour has produced analysis claiming a no-deal Brexit will cost families an extra £220 next year as a result of rising food prices.

Experts at the University of Sussex estimate that the price of food will rise by 7% on average if the UK crashes out of the bloc.

Speaking ahead of a visit to a food market in Scarborough, Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson was "gambling with people's lives".

He said: "After nine years of austerity holding down people’s pay, with foodbank use at an all-time high and with millions of people living in poverty in one of the richest countries in the world, a hike in food prices will be unaffordable for many families.

"Instead of handing out tax cuts to the richest and staking all our futures on a trade deal with Donald Trump that risks the takeover of our NHS by US corporations, the Prime Minister should rule out no deal and concentrate on improving the lives of people struggling to get by."