Operation Yellowhammer: A Hitchhiker’s Guide To No-Deal Brexit


The leaked Yellowhammer report evokes “EU exit fatigue” but it is the English who are tiresome.



Readiness will be further limited by increased EU exit fatigue caused by the second extension of Article 50”

How my heart bleeds for the English who having been knackered by a farcical referendum and exhausted by negotiations that they were not prepared for, are now suffering from a new form of depression – “EU exit fatigue.

The symptoms of this fatigue which, by the way, was self-inflicted, comprise a limited readiness of British industry and citizens to cope with life after Brexit – if there is life after Brexit, that is.

The Yellowhammer report, somehow leaked to the press, paints a bleak picture of what will happen if the UK leaves the EU without so much as a deal between its legs.

Ironically, a Whitehall official is quoted as saying that the report is, “a clear indication (…) just how hard the EU will punish us.  Are there some people still roaming about thinking that this is all the EU’s fault, and that the UK has not been a naughty boy leaving the classroom without knowing where to go and still expecting to benefit from the lesson and pass the exam?

Talking about school, the Yellowhammer report begins by bemoaning the fact that Brexit Day (October 31st) falls on a Thursday, which means that Day 1 of Brexit is on a Friday. It also coincides with the end of half-term holidays in some parts of the country. Taken together, these two calendrical events could seriously perturb freight traffic. Well if it’s that serious, the EU could be more accommodating here and postpone Brexit until the Monday, which would give everybody the week-end to prepare and reduce delays at Dover from 2,5 days to just under two. Good for the cottage cheese.

Extra border checks will also affect passengers travelling from the UK to the EU, be it by train, boat or air. At Paris Charles de Gaulle for example, there will be 10 immigration lockets for EU passengers, and just the two for the “rest of the world,”  – something that the UK is so keen to be part of. The Yellowhammer report sends out sound advice showing that the UK passengers are well prepared for a no-deal Brexit,

“Travellers may decide to use alternative routes to complete their journey.”

Anyone for cross-Channel swimming?


Rotterdam and Amsterdam have expert infra-structure when it come to handling drugs.


The Yellowhammer report also stresses that a no-deal Brexit will seriously affect the availability of drugs and medicines. 75% of the medicines come to the UK via the Calais-Dover/Folkestone routes which are the shortest crossings. Stock-piling is possible but limited due to “use-by” dates. But don’t worry about the potential shortage of drugs on the NHS because in the worst case scenario, the UK could come to a bilateral agreement with the Netherlands, Rotterdam and Amsterdam having expert infra-structure when it come to handling drugs.

Food supplies will also be affected by a no-deal Brexit, with ingredients, chemicals and packaging being in short supply. Combined with panick buying (do the English panick?), not finding Marmite at Tesco’s could be a real problem and sap the moral of the British public. But not to worry because if Westminster deregulates carbon emissions in the same way that everything else will be deregulated, we will soon be seeing orange trees on Tyneside and avocados in Shropshire.

It goes without saying that Northern Ireland is going to be the biggest headache after Brexit. The report stresses that theno new checks with limited exceptions,” model announced by Westminster is, “likely to prove unsustainable because of legal, economical and biosecurity risks.” Some businesses will move elsewhere, whilst those that stay will pass on increased costs to their customers.

“Disruption to key sectors and job losses are likely to result in protests and direct action in road blockades.

Add a few sparklers to the mix and the good old days are back. Nostalgia in Northern Ireland isn’t what it used to be.

But Northern Ireland isn’t the only place where protests are likely to erupt. The Yellowhammer report predicts widespread protests up and down the country. How can it be otherwise when half the country cannot accept having left the EU, whilst the other half is rampaging through towns and cities in search of that elusive pot of Marmite.


Brits working in Gibraltar whilst living in Spain will require copious splashings of sun lotion to prevent being burned alive under the scorching sun whilst a border official tries to decipher legal documents written in English, not having studied Shakespeare at school.


Brexiteers will be consoled by the fact that on the continent things will not be much better. Having lost access to British territorial waters, French fishermen will do what French fishermen do best – burn rubber car tyres at the entrance to the Channel ports and break shop windows in Calais and Boulogne.

Further south, Brits working in Gibraltar whilst living in Spain will require copious splashings of sun lotion to prevent being burned alive under the scorching sun whilst a border official tries to decipher legal documents written in English, not having studied Shakespeare at school. As for the rest of the Brits in the EU-27, we will be at the mercy of local government officials who haven’t realised that holding a EU-27 member state citizenship other than the UK is synonymous with life going on as usual.

I have a message for the Dutch immigration service: Please, don’t bother writing to me again.

Subject: Brexit

Name: “Yours Truly”

Nationality: French

Dear Sir,

As a British citizen living in the Netherlands, you will be affected by Brexit….,

The above was the essential message that came out of a letter I received some time ago from Dutch immigration. Is there another EU referendum that I couldn’t vote in?

But there are some who will greatly benefit from Brexit – criminals. Whilst one half of the police force will be busy running after frustrated Remainers and Brexiteers luting for Marmite, the other half will not be able to access data that is normally shared between the UK and the EU. In other words, the 21st century version of Ronald Biggs who lives in Paris could come to London without so much as a twitch of an eyebrow from passport control at St Pancras station – if he manages to board a working Eurostar, that is.

But what is there to worry about when we know that Michael Gove chairs a committee that meets every Wednesday at 10.30am and is in full control of operation Yellowhammer. Indeed what is there to worry about when the future’s bright…the future’s Brexit, and to hell with Yellowhammer!