They are demanding access to three government reports Operation Kingfisher, which details the readiness of businesses; Operation Snow Bunting, on police preparedness, and Operation Black Swan, reportedly the Government’s disaster planning report. Operation Yellowhammer, the Government’s “base scenario” assumptions of no deal, was published last month after opposition and rebel MPs won a vote forcing it to be made public. Attempts to hold the emergency parliamentary debate, known as an SO24, today were thwarted by Speaker John Bercow who refused the request because many Tory MPs and Ministers are attending the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
It is understood opposition parties will try again on Thursday.
A senior government source played down the significance of releasing details of Operation Kingfisher.
“I don’t think it will change the dial at all,” the source said. “We are prepared for a no-deal and whether we publish the details or not does not make any difference.”
All of the government’s Brexit planning operations have avian codenames
Details of Operation Yellowhammer were exposed last September, when the City minister John Glen was photographed with a document bearing its name.
Operation Snow Bunting, which aims to coordinate the policing response to Brexit, is believed to have caused some unhappiness in Cabinet with the idea of diverting so many officers to the county.
But the Cabinet source said: “We are all focused together on Brexit which wasn’t the case with Theresa May’s Cabinet.”