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Operation Yellowhammer was the codename used by the British HM Treasury for cross-government civil contingency planning for the possibility of Brexit without a withdrawal agreement – a no-deal Brexit. Had the UK and EU failed to conclude such an agreement, the UK's unilateral departure from the EU could have disrupted, for an unknown duration, many aspects of the relationship between the UK and European Union, including financial transfers, movement of people, trade, customs and other regulations. Operation Yellowhammer was intended to mitigate, within the UK, some of the effects of this disruption, and was expected to run for approximately three months. It was developed by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS), a department of the Cabinet Office responsible for emergency planning.

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  • Operation Yellowhammer
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  • Operation Yellowhammer was the codename used by the British HM Treasury for cross-government civil contingency planning for the possibility of Brexit without a withdrawal agreement – a no-deal Brexit. Had the UK and EU failed to conclude such an agreement, the UK's unilateral departure from the EU could have disrupted, for an unknown duration, many aspects of the relationship between the UK and European Union, including financial transfers, movement of people, trade, customs and other regulations. Operation Yellowhammer was intended to mitigate, within the UK, some of the effects of this disruption, and was expected to run for approximately three months. It was developed by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS), a department of the Cabinet Office responsible for emergency planning.
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  • Operation Yellowhammer was the codename used by the British HM Treasury for cross-government civil contingency planning for the possibility of Brexit without a withdrawal agreement – a no-deal Brexit. Had the UK and EU failed to conclude such an agreement, the UK's unilateral departure from the EU could have disrupted, for an unknown duration, many aspects of the relationship between the UK and European Union, including financial transfers, movement of people, trade, customs and other regulations. Operation Yellowhammer was intended to mitigate, within the UK, some of the effects of this disruption, and was expected to run for approximately three months. It was developed by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS), a department of the Cabinet Office responsible for emergency planning. In early August 2019, after Boris Johnson had become Prime Minister, the Cabinet Office "was not able to confirm" that the Operation Yellowhammer plan remained in place, although a Yellowhammer document from earlier that month was leaked in mid-August to The Sunday Times journalist Rosamund Urwin and continues to be updated. On 3 September 2019, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, whose responsibilities included preparations for a no-deal Brexit, said in the House of Commons: "Operation Yellowhammer assumptions are not a prediction of what is likely to happen, they are not a best-case scenario or a list of probable outcomes, they are projections of what may happen in a worst-case scenario." An otherwise unchanged version of Yellowhammer leaked earlier to The Times was titled "base case" scenario rather than the "reasonable worst case" scenario of the officially published document; a copy given to the Scottish government was titled "base scenario". The Sunday Times reported that Operation Yellowhammer was one of three scenarios being studied, the other two were Operation Kingfisher, involving a support package for distressed British businesses, and Operation Black Swan, a disaster scenario. Michael Gove characterised the report as inaccurate.
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