UK business travellers are set to face delays when visiting EU countries if there is a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, according to the government’s “Operation Yellowhammer” contingency documents.
The government has been forced to release the previously secret Yellowhammer documents following a vote by MPs before the proroguing of Parliament earlier this week.
The documents set out a range of “reasonable worst case assumptions” if the UK leaves the EU without any sort of exit deal at the end of next month, including the potential impact on train and airline services to the continent.
“UK citizens travelling to and from the EU may be subject to increased immigration checks at EU border posts. This may lead to passenger delays at St Pancras, Cheriton (Channel Tunnel) and Dover where juxtaposed controls are in place,” says the Yellowhammer document which was originally produced in early August, a few weeks after Boris Johnson became prime minster.
“Dependent on the plans EU member states put in place to cope with these increased immigration checks it is likely that delays will occur for UK arrivals and departures at EU airports and ports.
“This could cause some disruption on transport services. Travellers may decide to use alternative routes to complete their journey.”
The Yellowhammer document adds that the readiness of businesses for a no-deal Brexit would remain low.
“Public and business readiness for a no-deal will remain at a low level, and will decrease to lower levels, because the absence of a clear decision on the form of EU exit (customs union, no deal etc) does not provide a concrete situation for third parties to prepare for.”
The warnings come despite both the UK and European Union last week agreeing to allow flights to continue to operate between the UK and EU until at least October 2020 regardless of what happens with Brexit over the next few months.
The government has created a section of its website to help people and businesses get ready for Brexit