‘Worst Cases’ of No-Deal Brexit: “Operation Yellowhammer” - Feyza Ünal


Earlier this week, the U.K. government has released an official paper called “Operation Yellowhammer,” which presents the possible future scenarios of No-Deal Brexit. Indeed, it was dated as of August 2019, but it has been recently published by the Members of Parliament’s pushes to the government.


In the document, disruption in energy, shortage in food and medicine, rise in fuel prices, and protests in the society are taking part as ‘reasonable worst-case planning assumptions.’ Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson sees these assumptions as of speculative fears, they have been seen as dangerous and very possible scenarios.


No-Deal Brexit refers to the U.K.’s immediate left from the European Union without an agreement unless they can reach one, until the end of October. After the no-deal process, the U.K. would leave the market and the trade relations through EU and EU institutions immediately. Undoubtfully, U.K.’s divorce from the EU without any transition period would devastate not only the U.K. but also the members on several counts.


On the Energy Side?

According to Energy U.K. (2018), which is a trade association for the energy industry, the U.K. is one of the most important allies for the Internal Energy Market. The internal market enables all members to reach the security of supply and benefit from close cooperation and collaboration in energy trade. Therefore, the U.K.’s disunion from the EU will impact them mutually.


As government’s Yellowhammer contingency assumptions say, even though the supply of electricity or gas of the U.K. will not be ceased immediately, the prices for electricity and gas are likely to increase remarkably. It also pointed out that this rise in the costs for both domestic and business consumers may lead the participants to exit the market. Britain will need to deal with the economic and political consequences of the price increases eventually. Likewise, according to Climate Home News (2018), U.K.’s energy trade will last in the case of Brexit since it is not restricted to the membership to EU; but by the time, the consumers will be affected negatively because of the high prices.


After the deadline of the Brexit, 31 October; we will see whether these assumptions are only fear scenarios or will turn to reality throughout the time. Still, it is evident that there will be consequences both for member states and the U.K. in various areas, including energy.


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