THE civil service has rehearsed the UK Government’s No-Deal Brexit nightmare scenario, Operation Capstone, as the end of the transition period rapidly approaches.

Both the UK and EU have warned a deal is looking unlikely, so with just days to go the Government is exploring what an exit without an agreement could mean.

Whitehall war-gamed a series of events which could play out if the UK leaves the EU without a deal at the end of the month.

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According to The Times, the exercise saw officials attempt to cope with a series of events - from massive traffic jams stopping hospital supplies from reaching wards already overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases to criminal gangs trying to hijack vaccines bound for the UK.

The details of the war game provide a concerning glimpse into what reality could look like in less than two weeks.

Here’s what officials were up against during the stress-testing exercise:

Hospitals: Operation Capstone saw officials try to deal with the consequences of massive traffic jams along the motorways near ports – which would lead to medicines headed to overwhelmed hospitals getting delayed. Criminal gangs tried to hijack crucial coronavirus vaccines headed to the UK.

Care: The exercise saw a weakened pound lead to the sudden closure of a large care home provider, where many people at heightened risk of coronavirus live. Firms could be unable to hire staff from the EU, leading to further problems in the provision of care.

Disorder: The war game imagined that police face serious public disorder with pro and anti-Brexit groups heading out onto the streets.

Weather: During the exercise officials faced two storms leading to severe flooding in northern England, putting further pressure on the emergency services.

Ferries: New Year’s Day saw ferries crossing the channel confronted by a blockade of fishing boats from France and Spain.

The exercise comes as the prospect of a new post-Christmas England-wide lockdown and intense pressures on the NHS are becoming less of a “reasonable worst-case scenario”.

One UK Government source said: “The point is that the system worked.

“It went well. The work of the Brexit XO committee [the group of senior ministers and officials charged with preparations] over all these months means we have contingency plans in place for absolutely everything. This has been stress-tested to within an inch of its life, we’re ready for No-Deal.”

But others are more nervous as negotiations between the EU and UK stall.

“We make a bit of progress and then things seem to stall again and we go round and round for days,” one Downing Street source told the newspaper.

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“The trouble is it is not just one issue left and this time we are genuinely running out of time.”

A separate leaked dossier, published in the summer, revealed the UK Government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario” said military may be drafted in to airdrop food to the Channel Islands.

The document also said parts of the UK could struggle with power and petrol shortages thanks to lorries being blocked up on motorways.

A Government spokesperson said the document “reflects a responsible UK Government ensuring we are ready for all eventualities”.