Leaked Brexit document depicts government fears of gridlock, food shortages, unrest

Boris JohnsonBritain would face gridlock at ports; shortages of medicine, fuel and food; and a hard border with Ireland if it left the European Union with no deal, according to a leaked government document.

The U.K. seems increasingly likely to crash out of the EU on Oct. 31, and the picture the government paints in a confidential document compiled under the code name Operation Yellowhammer and obtained by the Sunday Times is sobering. It details the ways government leaders are working to avert a “catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure.”

Trucks could be dealt 2 1/2-day delays at ports, with significant disruption lasting up to three months, which would affect fuel supplies in London and the southeast of England, according the document.

Medical supplies will also be vulnerable to “severe extended delays,” since about three-quarters of the U.K.’s medicine comes across the English Channel.

Fresh food will become less available, and prices will rise, according to the document. That outcome is expected to especially hit vulnerable groups.

The government anticipates the return of a hard border with Ireland, which could spark protests and roadblocks.