Protect and survive: Official advice on how to withstand a no deal Brexit

Your life – and the lives of your family – may depend on it.

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In just over eight months time, Brexit will arrive. We do not know which infrastructure or industries will be affected, which supply chains will collapse, or how severe the effects will be.

No part of the United Kingdom can be considered safe, either from the direct effects of leaving the economic structures of the European Union, or from the resultant political fall-out.

The dangers which you and your family will face in this situation can be reduced if you do as this article describes.

Stock enough food for fourteen days. Choose foods which can be eaten cold, which keep fresh, and which are tinned or well-wrapped.

Provide variety. Stock sugar, jams or other sweet foods, cereals, biscuits, meats, vegetables, fruits. Children will need tinned or powdered milk. Eat perishable items first. Use your supplies sparingly.

Repurpose window sills, ornamental fireplaces, spare wardrobes and other appropriate spaces to maximise your stockpiling space.

It is not currently clear whether tap water after Brexit will be safe to drink. To be on the safe side, board up all your household sinks and stick to bottled water.

Be careful not to confuse these with your jerrycans of petrol.

Do not flush lavatories, but store the clean water they contain by taping up the handles or removing the chains.

Many common objects make useful sources of emergency fuel. These include wood, newspaper, the promises of the Leave campaign, Theresa May’s Mansion House speech, and your unexpectedly worthless £20 notes.

Should a no deal Brexit occur while you are in the open, use any kind of cover, or lie flat (in a ditch) and cover the exposed skin of head and hands.

Brexit will make life harder in many ways. A shortage of construction workers is likely, leading to lack of maintenance and structural problems in extreme weather conditions.

The latest European fashions may no longer be available after Brexit. Be prepared.

But there is some good news. The new, global Britain will continue to be a world leader in the technology, media and communications sectors.

One of the many upsides of a no deal Brexit will be the rapid expansion of Britain’s high quality self-build housing sector.

Even the smallest space can provide much needed new homes.

Room for all the family!

There will be adequate toilet facilities after Brexit.

Try to stay positive. Life may be harder – but Brexit is survivable. And after some initial disruption, British government and industry should again begin operating normally.

Read this article with care. Do as it advises. Keep it safely at hand.

Your life – and the lives of your family – may depend on it.

All images taken from the 1980 Protect & Survive manual, published by the Central Office of Information on behalf of the Home Office, available here.

Jonn Elledge is a freelance journalist, formerly assistant editor of the New Statesman and editor of its sister site, CityMetric. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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