Imagine shortages of food and fuel and medicine, ports in a state of gridlock. That is some of what could happen to the United Kingdom if it leaves the European Union with no deal at the end of October. This assessment comes from a dossier on Operation Yellowhammer — that's a secret government contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit which was leaked and reported by The Times of London over the weekend — and it concerns people because the UK's new prime minister, Boris Johnson, seems to be steering the country toward just that, toward crashing out of the EU.
NPR's Frank Langfitt is following this from London. Hey, Frank.
FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Hey. Good morning, Noel.
KING: So some really grim predictions here. What else did this dossier say?
LANGFITT: Yeah, I mean, some of the facts and figures were really interesting. Trucks could face two-and-a-half-day delays at ports, could be significant disruption lasting up to three months and could see a disruption in the fuel supply to London and southeast of England. And medical supplies, also severe delays because most of them would come over the English Channel.
And the big thing is a government expects a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland, and the dossier says that could spark protests and roadblocks.
KING: Well, what does the document say would happen if there was a hard border? Because this has been one of the big worries, right, yeah?
LANGFITT: Exactly, and nobody really talked about this three years ago during the referendum debate — a return to widespread customs checks. And, you know, right now, the border is invisible. It's seamless trade between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. And if you have new customs check, not only is it going to cost companies and damage the economies on either side, but more importantly, it's going to make people along the border really, really angry because nobody wants this.
The border is — people would remember — this was the site of a lot of violence during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Thirty-six hundred people or more died during those battles in the '70s and the '80s. And there's a genuine fear, I think, that if customs posts go up, that dissident Irish republicans, they're going to see this as dividing Ireland again. And they want to see the island unified, and so they could start shooting up the customs post.
KING: Oh, my God. All right, so this...
LANGFITT: Yeah, this is...
KING: This is a lot.
LANGFITT: ...I've been studying this — yeah, I have been going up there now for three years, and people have been talking about this for this entire time.
KING: So what are people saying about all this? Are they freaking out?
LANGFITT: I would say, you know, this has been going on for three years, so — in terms of Brexit. But what we're seeing, I think, is more stockpiling. There's research that shows that more than $4 billion has already been spent on food, medicine and drink, kind of stockpiling for a possible no-deal Brexit in October. My wife Julie is at Costco this morning. She's, you know, lots of people are doing this.
About a hundred members of Parliament want to recall Parliament. They want to — earlier during the summer recess. They'd like to get them back very soon to be able to talk to Johnson — Boris Johnson — about Brexit preparations. Michael Gove, he's in charge of preparations, and he said well, this — you know, people shouldn't overreact. The dossier is a worst-case scenario, and it's an old document, and the new government's made a lot of progress in the last few weeks. But I don't think there's — we're not seeing any evidence of that. And it seems far-fetched that they would have made big, big gains, you know, big changes.
And, you know, the other thing is that even if one of these things happened, Noel, people would be really upset...
LANGFITT: ...Because as many point out, nobody was talking about this kind of disruption when they voted in 2016 on the referendum.
KING: NPR's Frank Langfitt in London. Frank, thanks so much.
LANGFITT: Happy to do it, Noel.
想象一下下列情景：食物、燃料、药品短缺，港口陷入瘫痪 。如果英国在10月底无协议脱欧，那上述情景就是英国可能发生的情况 。这一评估出自代号为“黄鹀行动”的文件，这份政府为应对无协议脱欧准备的机密应急计划遭泄露，并在上周末由《伦敦时报》曝光，这令人们感到担心，因为英国新任首相鲍里斯·约翰逊似乎正在将英国推向硬脱欧 。
NPR新闻的弗兰克·朗菲特正在伦敦关注事态发展 。你好，弗兰克 。
弗兰克·朗菲特连线：你好 。早上好，诺埃尔 。
朗菲特：对，一些事实和数据非常值得关注 。卡车可能在港口遭遇长达两天半的延误，严重混乱情况可能会持续三个月之久，而且伦敦和英国东南部地区可能出现燃料供应中断 。另外，药品供应也会严重延迟，因为大多数药品运输都要经过英吉利海峡 。
朗菲特：没错，在三年前举行脱欧公投期间，没有人谈论过恢复大规模的海关检查这件事 。现在，英国与爱尔兰之间是无形边界 。北爱尔兰和爱尔兰共和国进行的是无缝贸易 。如果重新设置海关检查，不仅会增加两国企业的成本并损害两国经济，更重要的是，还会令边界周边居民极其愤怒，因为没有人希望出现这种情况 。
人们应该还记得，在北爱尔兰骚乱期间，这一边境发生了很多暴力事件 。在那场发生在上世纪70年代和80年代的斗争中，至少有3600人死亡 。我想现在人们担心的是，如果设置海关检查，那爱尔兰持异议者会将这视为再次分裂爱尔兰的行为 。他们希望爱尔兰岛统一，因此他们可能会开始攻击检查站点 。
朗菲特：英国脱欧进程已经持续了三年的时间 。而我们现在看到有越来越多的人开始囤货 。有研究表明，为应对10月可能出现的无协议脱欧情况，目前人们在囤积食物、药品、饮料等物品上的花费已超过40亿美元 。我妻子朱莉今天上午去了好市多超市 。她在囤积物品，许多人都在这样做 。
英国议会中大约有100名成员希望议会提前结束休会期 。他们希望缩短夏季休会期 。他们想让议员尽快重返工作岗位，与鲍里斯·约翰逊就英国脱欧的准备工作进行协商 。负责这一准备工作的迈克尔·戈夫表示，人们不应该反应过度 。文件描述的是最坏情况，而且这是一份旧文件，新一届政府在过去几周已取得了很多进展 。但是，我们并没有看到能证明这些进展的任何证据 。他们会取得重大成果并做出重大改变这种说法似乎有些牵强 。
金：以上是NPR新闻的弗兰克·朗菲特从伦敦带来的报道 。弗兰克，非常谢谢你 。
1. freak out (使)吃惊；(使)不安；(使)恼怒；(使)困惑；
I remember the first time I went onstage. I freaked out completely.
我还记得自己第一次登台的情形 。我完全吓坏了 。
2. in terms of 在…方面；从…角度看；根据…来说；
He's talking in terms of starting a completely new career.
3. in charge of 主管；全面负责；统领；
Officials in charge of the camps say the system is now running extremely smoothly.
4. even if 即使；尽管；纵然；
I'll get there, even if I have to walk.