Boris Johnson has insisted Brexit will happen on time on October 31 – despite a grim leak showing the chaos of No Deal.
The Prime Minister responded for the first time today to a briefing from the government’s Operation Yellowhammer warning of shortages of medicine, food and fuel.
It’s understood the document was presented to a meeting of the No Deal ‘war Cabinet’ days after Mr Johnson took power.
But despite admitting “there may well be bumps in the road”, the Prime Minister today refused to change course.
Quizzed on a visit to a hospital in Cornwall, he insisted Britain will leave the EU on Halloween with or without a deal.
And he tried to blame Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmannuel Macron – who he’ll meet this week – for deadlock.
He said: “I hope that they will compromise.”
The briefing said petrol and medical supplies could be disrupted and up to 85% of lorries using Channel ports may not be ready for French customs checks – with delays lasting formonths.
It added 15,000 workers who cross daily from Spain to Gibraltar face delays of more than four hours “at least for a few months”.
It said some supplies of fresh food will fall with hundreds of thousands of customers affected by water supplies.
It added 300 foreign boats could be illegally fishing in UK waters after October 31, risking clashes at sea.
And it said the “fragile” care industry could be hit by rising inflation and small operators could collapse within three months.
Asked about the documents today, Mr Johnson said: “I’m not going to suggest that there won’t be – as I said on the steps of Downing Street – there may well be bumps in the road.
“But we will be ready to come out on October 31 deal or no deal.
“Now of course our friends and partners on the other side of the Channel are showing a little bit of reluctance at the moment to change their position.
“That’s fine – I’m confident that they will – but in the meantime we have to get ready for a no deal outcome.
“I want a deal. We’re ready to work with our friends and partners to get a deal.
“But if you want a good deal for the UK, you must simultaneously get ready to come out without one.”
Mr Johnson continued: “If you look at the preparations the UK had made by March 29, we were very far advanced and things then slipped back a bit but we’re very confident that by October 31 we will be ready and that’s the crucial thing.
“I think that’s what people want. People are very confident themselves that they can do it.
“I’m not pretending that there won’t be bumps on the road. There will be, I said that on the steps of Downing Street, but if everybody puts their minds to it I have absolutely no doubt that we can get ready.”
When asked whether progress would be made during upcoming talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, Mr Johnson replied: “Well that is, I’m afraid, very much up to our friends and I hope that they will compromise.
“They have seen that the UK parliament has three times rejected the Withdrawal Agreement, the backstop just doesn’t work, it’s not democratic and I hope that they will see fit to compromise but in the meantime we get ready to come out on October 31.”
It came after Mr Johnson’s spokesman slapped down Labour’s call to recall Parliament to debate No Deal.
Jeremy Corbyn today gave a keynote speech vowing to bring a no confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s government.
Mr Corbyn said: “Let’s be very clear – we will do everything necessary to stop a disastrous no-deal for which this government has no mandate”.
He added: “A general election triggered by the Tory Brexit crisis will be a crossroads for our country. It will be a once-in-a-generation chance for a real change of direction potentially on the scale of 1945.
“Things cannot go on as they were before. The Conservatives and a very wealthy establishment that they so happily represent failed this country. They failed to protect living standards, they have savaged our public services.”
No Deak Brexit planning chief Michael Gove claimed the leaked paper was a “worst case scenario” and “very significant steps” have been taken since it was produced.
A Number 10 source said: “This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available.
“It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.”