Working with former Army Officer and government lobbyist Guy Dorrell, we’ve created a new podcast, The Fall, in order to explore what happens in the very worst case Brexit scenario.
Over the coming weeks we will be building a practical resource to help people at all levels of society prepare for a self-made disaster of wartime proportions.
For us this isn’t about politics, it’s about empowering people to get through something unprecedented in a country which grinds to a halt under an inch of snow.
In the first episode, The Grace Period, we focus on the first few days of Brexit, supply chain, food banks, societal shifts, military and police deployments, civil unrest, and even school holidays – which start a week after Britain leaves the European Union.
What we care about most is the simple truth: there’s nothing wrong than being prepared for the absolute worst. (You can download the first personal preparedness guide, published in June, here.)
You can listen below or find the podcast on Apple, and you can support my ongoing work here at Byline, if you wish to.
To keep things accessible, here’s a short summary of Episode 1:
Brexit of any measure is likely to be difficult, but a no deal departure could be catastrophic. October/November is the cut off date, not March 2019. Water rationing is among the measures being planned for by big businesses. Fresh milk, bread will disappear. Fresh meat will be at a premium. Supermarkets will have difficulty re stocking. Supermarkets have said they have 3 days of food, due to JIT. Local Authorities have lost level of preparedness.
How does this supply chain hit food banks? When have less money to give away. They will be worried for their own families.
There are so many unknowns. It’s like a war time disruption without central command. We need to be using war time logic in a peace time situation.
Fuel: if supply chain comes under strain, you need more trucks, you need more fuel. Mediated at European level. Power delivery is mediated by ECJ, without that stabilising influence we will go to stock prices as if we were running a stock market. We become market hostages. We become vassal state. We can’t create petrol out of no where.
There will be a national holiday. There will be a play down of queues at the ports. Dissenters will have little part in the news cycle.
Day 3 the workers will go in and see the impact on your working life. There will dramatic drops in value of the £ during the day. Only that material which uses material from the UK will be unaffected: a frighteningly small group. The ‘compassionate’ and the ‘unconcerned’ will be divided. British jobs for British workers will be the slogan. The upper classes will be unaffected. A new pecking order will come.
People will talk about Brexit. Leaders and followers will emerge. Leaders will be planning. We see this in natural disasters. The leaders, pack up and leave. The followers wait to be rescued. Psuedo leaders or trolls and those who use the media for effect. Encourage people to do something and watch the effects. On 9/11 Head of Security at Morgan Stanley, ex military, decided to ignore instructions to stay at desks. He evacuated 2700 staff, took the lead and took the action, and potentially halved number lost. No body ever died of over preparation.
The effects of No deal will be felt in workplaces. The normal commute won’t stop. There will be clash of tides of commercial transport and commuters which will be more difficult. Amazon orders now must be fulfilled in England. We only have a finite staff of HMRC staff. We don’t have time to recruit. We will see increased friction. EU countries have been recruiting staff, Britain has not. We cannot overstate the need for resources.
There will be no flights, no Eurostar. A delay of 45 seconds can lead to a delay of days in Calais. Where we see pauses in JIT very quickly we see that economic burden will be offloaded by companies. It becomes not viable in 4 days.
Conditions will be clearer after the week. It will coincide with school holidays. 9 days is a stretch for civil unrest. The start for civil unrest starts on day one and continues from there. It is much more grave than 2011. Children will be out of semi secure environment. Police can’t ask unilaterally for army assistance. Police leave has been cancelled over period of Brexit.
When troops are deployed. Troops on our streets could be similarly worried about their own families. This is absolutely without precedent. In order for soldiers to act successfully, they have to know their families are safe. These risks are not being considered.
You can stockpile food. You can’t stockpile physical security. It comes at the worst time. School holidays. Parents will have to go to work. School holidays see spikes in shop lifting. Shop owners are going to be facing difficulties in supplies, and shop lifting. Food banks’ supplies will dry up. People will go out and steal. We have pressure on shop keepers at a time of civil unrest. The police won’t be able to cope.
How do you police a situation like this? Morally? If police officers and soldiers have their own families in these queues? There will be divided loyalties. You will see a group who say that cost of loyalty will not be worth it.
You will see a group of leavers who feel cheated. They will be angry. The extremist groups are already well established.
The initial shock of Brexit will be like submersion in cold water. Think about how you, your family and community can deal with it.