The Good Morning Britain host explained how accurate Operation Yellowhammer’s post-Brexit predictions were.
Alistair Campbell told Rishi Sunak that all the worst predictions for life in Britain after Brexit have now come true on Monday.
As a presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Campbell suggested to the chancellor that the fuel crisis, HGV driver shortage and pork-related issues all stem from the UK’s departure from the European Union last year.
Campbell was referring to predictions of Operation Yellowhammer, the cross-government contingency plan that gave the worst possible outcome in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Campbell claimed those warnings have now been put into effect, even though the UK has struck a deal with the EU.
He said: “I re-read Operation Yellowhammer last night, which was a preparation by the government in case there was no deal.
“Now you have a deal and you told us it was a big deal.
“This is what he warned about: Channel crossing disruptions; delay in the entry of lorries into the UK; delay in immigration; Fuel supply disruptions, promoting panic buying; possibly public disorder; The price of electricity rises; delay in drug supply; reduction in the supply of fresh foods; Supermarket price increases; fishing wars; crackdown on data in law enforcement; Which of those hasn’t happened, and which of them have anything to do with Brexit?”
Sunak claimed that Campbell was particularly interested in Brexit as a major Remainer.
He then dropped the charges by suggesting most of the issues stemmed from the lack of an HGV driver.
The chancellor continued: “HGV drivers are an issue that we are not only dealing with here in the UK.”
While other European countries have reported shortages of lorry drivers, Sunak was unable to name any other country in Europe that has resorted to bringing in the military to ease the fuel crisis, such as Britain – a move that indicated Given how serious the distribution issues are in the UK.
However, Sunak said trying to blame “driver shortages” on Brexit I don’t think is unreasonable.
Campbell asked: “So this has nothing to do with Brexit?”
Sunak then admitted: “It’s certainly not exclusively because of Brexit.”
When Operation Yellowhammer was leaked to The Sunday Times in August 2019, there was widespread concern about what the post-Brexit UK might actually look like.
Michael Gove – the then chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – tried to ease the national panic, and told the House of Commons: “Operation Yellowhammer assumptions are not predictions of what is likely to happen, they are not the best-case scenario or a potential.” The list of consequences, they are estimates of what could happen in the worst case.”
But driver shortage is believed to be a culmination of various factors.
Brexit meant that many of the UK’s EU workers left the UK, reducing workforce within many industries, while Covid caused a significant backlog among those who want to take the HGV driving test.
The lifestyle associated with HGV driving has also meant that it has become an unpopular career path.