Operation Yellowhammer: Leaked document reveals details of Government's no-deal Brexit plans

A leaked document has revealed secret Government no-deal planning strategies (Getty Images)

A photo taken of a confidential document taken outside Whitehall has revealed details of the government’s no-deal Brexit strategy, including the codename for the plans – Operation Yellowhammer.

The embarrassing leak revealed a number of details about ministers’ emergency plans if the UK fails to secure a deal with the EU.

The document, photographed as it was carried into a meeting, referred to a government ‘no deal contingency planning’ discussion.

The first two lines read: ‘The meeting will consider progress on the Government’s plans for mitigating the immediate impacts of a No Deal Brexit.

‘The Civil Contingencies Secretariat held a two-day workshop last week to review departments’ plan, assumptions, interdependencies and next steps.

Other discernible details include the objectives of the Treasury under a no-deal scenario, the first of which is to ‘maintain confidence’, particularly in financial services.

The document also says that departments should initially aim to raise ‘Yellowhammer’ costs through ‘internal reprioritisation’, suggesting extra budget will not be available to deal with the fallout of crashing out of the European Union.


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Earlier this week a think tank warned that the impact of a chaotic Brexit “will be severe and overwhelmingly negative”.

The UK in A Changing Europe’s report, titled ‘Cost of No Deal Revisited’, predicted economic and social disruption.

It said: “The real impact of a chaotic Brexit relates not to the longer-term trading arrangements developed for the UK but, rather, to the short-term uncertainties associated with the disappearance without replacement of many of the rules underpinning the UK’s economic and regulatory structure.”

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab insisted this week that a good deal with the EU is ‘within our grasp’.