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Nigel Farage dismisses Government's Operation Yellowhammer no-deal contingency plans as 'utter tosh'

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaking during the party's 'We Are Ready' event. Credit: PA

Nigel Farage has dismissed the published government no-deal Brexit contingency plan as "utter tosh".

The Brexit Party leader told ITV's Peston show the Operation Yellowhammer papers, which were released to the public on Wednesday night, were "Project Fear mark II" and should be "totally disregarded".

The papers show the impact a no-deal Brexit could have on the country and include details of major hold-ups at channel ports, electricity price increases, shortages of some foods and delays to medicine imports.

But Mr Farage told ITV News political editor Robert Peston: "Unlike these civil servants sitting in Whitehall, I I spent 20 years in international trade buying and selling goods and shipping them all over the world.

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"The idea, given that there are over a 100 active ports in the United Kingdom, that even if there was a problem at Dover, they'd been foot shortages is complete and utter rubbish. It's Project Fear mark II. It should be utterly, completely, totally disregarded."

Mr Farage said his offer of an electoral pact with the Conservatives was an "olive branch" to Boris Johnson, who he said would not be able to secure a parliamentary majority without the help his party.

The Brexit Party leader denied that his offer to Mr Johnson was about him "getting anything in return" but was solely about delivering on the result of the 2016 referendum.

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"There is a way here of Boris Johnson smashing Corbyn, delivering Brexit and becoming an all time national hero," he said.

The former UKIP leader said his offer was reliant on Mr Johnson pursuing a clean break with Europe.

"Unless Boris is hell bent on reheating Mrs May's dreadful new European treat, in case there won't be an alliance."

In response to the publication of the Yellowhammer papers, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick told ITV's Peston show the Government will publish a document on all the work it has done as a new administration to prepare for no deal “in the coming days”.

"We've said we're going to publish a revised version of this which reflects all of the work we've done across government.

The document warns of protests, as well as food, fuel and medicine shortages. Credit: PA

"That document will set out all of the work we've done as a new administration to make sure the UK is vastly better prepared to leave the European Union on 31st October than it was a just month or so ago."

Mr Jenrick also defended Mr Johnson's actions in asking the queen to suspend parliament, a move that was ruled "unlawful" by a Scottish court on Wednesday.

"The prime minister has acted entirely properly. He's taken advice. The cabinet was briefed. The cabinet made a decision before the privy council met and of course, this matter has gone to the courts and will be decided by the Supreme Court. but there's no suggestion that the prime minister has acted improperly."

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On the subject of a second vote on the UK's future relationship with Europe, Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson’s suggestion of a Referendum before an election was not "practical".

She told Robert Peston that Mr Watson "doesn’t necessarily represent the view of the Party.”

"The practical problem, is that if he says we're going to have a referendum before an election, is he really talking about catastrophic no-deal versus Remain?

"Or isn't it better for us to have a general election and then put a deal, which I don't think is as good as Remain but will certainly be a darn sight better than anything the Tories have offered the public, and we will be able to put forward a deal that will do the least amount of damage to jobs and the economy."

Former Justice secretary David Gauke, said he still hoped to stand as a Conservative MP in the next general election despite being stripped of the Tory whip after joining opposition parties on Tuesday night to wrest control of the Commons agenda to block a no-deal Brexit.