The British government insisted Thursday that its forecast of food and medicine shortages, gridlock at ports and riots in the streets after a no-deal Brexit is an avoidable worst-case scenario, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied misleading Queen Elizabeth II about his reasons for suspending Parliament just weeks before the country is due to leave the European Union.
In better news for the embattled British leader, a Belfast court rejected claims that his Brexit strategy will harm Northern Ireland’s peace process.
Johnson, who took office in July vowing to get Brexit done on the scheduled Oct. 31 date “do or die,” and even if there is not a divorce deal to smooth the way. But many lawmakers, campaigners, economists and businesses fear a no-deal Brexit would be economically devastating.
Lawmakers forced the government to publish its official assessment of the impact of leaving the EU on Oct. 31 without a divorce agreement. The document described potential food and medicine shortages, gridlock at ports and riots in the streets. Johnson insisted the bleak scenario was “not where we intend to end up.”
“This is a worst-case scenario which civil servants obviously have to prepare for, but in the last few months, and particularly in the 50 days since I’ve been prime minister, we’ve been massively accelerating our preparations,” he said.