Friday, 7 September 2018


Leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement in place cannot be ruled out even though negotiations are on-going - read the Secretary of State's Statement of 4 September.   Also see the Secretary of State's speech (23 August) regarding No Deal Planning.

A considerable amount of material is in the public domain to show what the impact of that scenario is likely to be:

  • On 21 December 2017, the Committee on Exiting the EU published 39 sector analyses - HERE

Operation Yellowhammer appears as the codename for the government's preparations for No Deal - Sky News 6 September where it is reported that - "The recent two-day "no deal" meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat appears to be the first time official Whitehall apparatus to deal with planning for emergencies and disasters has been used in anticipation of actual government policy.  It was one of the revelations about "Operation Yellowhammer", the code name for no-deal contingency planning, included in a government document inadvertently leaked on Thursday."

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat is part of the National Security Secretariat.  It supports the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and leads the wider government effort, on civil emergency planning and response.

Although it is not reported, there can be little doubt that use of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 will be under serious consideration.  In an emergency, the Act gives the government enormous powers to make Emergency Regulations and the regulations may make provision of any kind that could be made by Act of Parliament or by the exercise of the Royal Prerogative.  In section 22(3) there is a non-exhaustive list of what regulations may do including enabling the Defence Council to authorise the deployment of Her Majesty’s armed forces.

Invoking this Act is a far from happy prospect and we ought to hope that it doesn't happen.

Why the name Yellowhammer?  I don't know but there is some speculation in The Mirror 6 September - "it has long been said that the yellowhammer's song sounds like it's saying "a little bit of bread and no cheese."  In other words - rationing - and, yes, that could be imposed under section 22.

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