Operation Yellowhammer starts NOW: Michael Gove moves hundreds of civil servants to step up No Deal preparations and declares UK WILL leave on October 31
- Gove insisted the UK would be leaving on October 31 despite the setback
- The minister said extension letter would be withdrawn if MPs voted for the deal
- Meanwhile Operation Yellowhammer No Deal preparations are in full swing
- Gove said, ‘the mood in the country is clear … we must leave’ by Halloween
Michael Gove has triggered No Deal Brexit contingency planning after MPs voted to force the Government to request a delay to Article 50.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster insisted that the UK would leave the EU by October 31 despite the setback.
But he said he would begin Operation Yellowhammer – the Government’s preparations for a departure without a deal.
Hundreds of civil servants were last night moved from their regular duties to join the operations.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: ‘We have now entered the final, most intensive stage of the Government’s preparations for leaving the EU without a deal.
‘This makes sure we will have done everything possible to prepare for leaving the EU without a deal on October 31. Operation Yellowhammer is a cross-government programme of work to ensure that Government is ready.
Asked yesterday if he could guarantee that the UK would leave the EU by Halloween, Mr Gove said: ‘Yes, that’s our determined policy. We know that the EU want us to leave, we know that we have a deal that allows us to leave’ (pictured: in the Commons on Saturday)
‘It ensures that we are prepared to mitigate impacts of even the potential reasonable worst-case scenario if on October 31 the UK leaves the EU without a deal.’
Asked yesterday if he could guarantee that the UK would leave the EU by Halloween, Mr Gove said: ‘Yes, that’s our determined policy. We know that the EU want us to leave, we know that we have a deal that allows us to leave.’
He told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘We are going to leave by October 31st. We have the means and the ability to do so.
‘I think the mood in the country is clear and the Prime Minister’s determination is absolute and I am with him in this, we must leave by October 31st.’
Mr Gove claimed that Saturday’s parliamentary defeat had actually increased the risk of No Deal because ‘we cannot guarantee that the European Council will grant an extension’.
Asked if he could guarantee that the UK will leave the EU on time, Michael Gove told Sky News: ‘Yes, that’s our determined policy. We know that the EU want us to leave, we know that we have a deal that allows us to leave’
He added: ‘I will, later today, be chairing a Cabinet committee meeting… in order to ensure that the next stage of our exit preparations and our preparedness for No Deal is accelerated.
‘We are preparing to ensure that, if no extension is granted, we have done everything possible in order to prepare to leave without a deal.’
Last month, the Government released a stark assessment of the possible effects of a No Deal after MPs demanded that it be made public.
The document warned of major disruption to traffic and trade, shortages of food and issues obtaining certain medicines, as well as disorder in Northern Ireland.