And so the Government has released the Operation Yellowhammer documents, which look very much like the ones leaked earlier, except that one paragraph has been redacted. Sadly for those doing the redacting, it is not difficult to piece together the missing bits. The conclusion, now sinking in among former diehard Leave supporters, is that a No Deal Brexit would be A Very Bad Thing Indeed for millions of ordinary Britons.
Christopher Hope. No, really
No sunlit uplands. No being able to lord it over Johnny Foreigner. No holding all the cards. Just food shortages, clean water shortages, panic buying of fuel, medicine shortages, energy price hikes, public order problems, and a lot of people being thrown out of work in very short order. It is not Project Fear, it is the confirmation of Project Grim Reality That Some Of Us Tried To Tell You About But Got Shouted Down By The Gobshites.
As a result of the slowly-dawning realisation that No Deal Brexit really will be the shitshow we were warned about, the number of hacks and pundits willing to pretend that everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about is in short supply. Except at the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph. Because they have Christopher “No” Hope.
Hope has had an enquiry from one of those imaginary friends. “A friend texts me: ‘They’ve published the WORST case scenario but why haven’t they published the BEST case scenario?’ Any one got an answer for him?”. So let’s take this nice and slowly, for the journalist who can’t be arsed doing a little journalism first.
The leaked version of the Yellowhammer documents called this a BASE SCENARIO. Since the leaking, it has been renamed “HMG Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions”. Note the presence of the word “Reasonable”. This means that what actually happens in a No Deal outcome could be a lot worse. And there is more.
There is no “Best Case”. The only “Best Case” comes from not leaving the EU in the first place. Hence the palpable exasperation in the replies to Hope’s enquiry, such as “That isn't the worst case scenario. That's the base line scenario. Black Swan is the worst case scenario” and “There is no best case. We already have the best trading environment. We are weeks away from the very worst. I went through this with you in the summer. Please wake up. Please read up”. Waking up and reading up? At the Telegraph? You jest, Sir.
And there was more. “It's the base case, which if you weren't so busy licking boots you'd know and challenge. Brexiters have had decades and been unable to come up with a plan, there is no best case brexit” … “If there was a best case scenario with us all being richer, they’d have published it”. Dead right they would. There wasn’t, so they didn’t.
Someone tried logic. “The best case scenario would be to solve or at the very least mitigate each of the issues raised in the report … What is the cause of these issues? Logic would tell you the 'best case' would be to not cause them in the first place”. But Ross McCafferty had seen enough. "How do you even manage to get your shoes on in the morning?”. The Spiller of Tea added “Tell your imaginary friend to stop being a wanker”.
The time for talking up the potential disaster of No Deal Brexit is over. It is now the time for accepting reality. Except for Christopher Hope, who hasn’t woken up yet.
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