Leaked government emails show no-deal Brexit could lead to ‘putrefying stockpiles’ of waste

No-deal Brexit could lead to “putrefying stockpiles” of waste, according to leaked emails from government officials.

Originally reported by The Guardian, the Environment Agency emails revealed growing concerns of pollution due to export and import licences for waste becoming invalid in the event of No Deal.

Stockpiled waste runs the risk of odours and extra leachates which could cause secondary pollution.

The emails, seen by The Guardian, detailed that crisis centres could go live on 18 February and run every day from 7am to 8pm.

This could increase to 24/7 if needed, the emails said.

Stuart Hayward-Higham, who leads Brexit planning for SUEZ, said: “This is sensible contingency planning by the Environment Authority in the event a no-deal Brexit. The EA is just putting things in place in case of need. “

Regulators and companies are now working through Article 17 permissions which would allow exports to continue in most circumstances.

Hayward-Higham also warned of port congestion and additional paperwork depending on the version of Brexit chosen, vowing to minimise the impacts where possible.

An EA spokesman added: “As with the whole of government and the rest of the public sector, we are preparing responsibly for all scenarios as we exit the EU.”

Last week, plans to move up to 5,000 staff into an emergency command and control centre were revealed by the chief executive of the civil service John Manzoni in the event of No Deal.

Defra has had frequent meetings with waste officials to discuss planning for a no-deal Brexit.