Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2019

Brexit news: Davis reveals key mistake made by Yellowhammer civil service ‘conspiracy’ | UK | News

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the former Secretary dismissed no deal warnings issued by Whitehall and leaked over the weekend under the Operation Yellowhammer heading. Mr claimed the findings were “rubbish” as he revealed the civil service team in charge of the contingency planning for a no deal Brexit had not spoken about their worst-case scenario predictions to the department for leaving the European Union (DExEU).

He told the Today Programme: “The Yellowhammer stuff was rubbish.

“It’s drawn up by the civil contingency unit. I actually got a briefing on this, it was a privy council briefing so I can’t tell you the details of what I was told.

“But I have to tell you I was unimpressed.

“Very unimpressed. I’m going to deal with this in one sentence.

“One question I put was ‘How much have you discussed this with the planning section of DExEU?’ – that’s my old department who have been working on this since July 2016.

READ MORE: BBC Newsnight: Brexiteer Hannan destroys EU’s ‘illogical’ position

“And there was a silence, from which I deduced that they hadn’t.

“This is the worst case they could think of, basically.

“And it was the worst case they were planning for. It’s not a prediction. It’s the worst case that they had.”

Asked whether he believed this was a “civil service conspiracy”, he replied: “No, no, no.

“And one of the problems from Whitehall which is doing its job, it’s doing what it’s ought to do, which is to try to deliver the national interest, but it’s doing it in a way which is negative.

“Actually, some things will go wrong but they will be manageable.”

Operation Yellowhammer was devised to help governmental departments set out contingency plans to activate in the event of a no deal Brexit scenario.

On Sunday, unknown sources within the Government leaked details of the strategy on the worst-effects leaving the European Union could have on Britain, including warnings of extra checks on goods going to and from the UK through French ports.

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