Britain’s armed forces are preparing for contingency plans to prevent a crisis if the country leaves the European Union in March without a deal that could guarantee a smooth withdrawal.
Senior British defense officials said on Sunday that contingency plans were being made so that the military could support the country in case of a no-deal Brexit.
“There are contingency plans being made, there are discussions being held behind the scenes as to what support our armed forces will do,” said deputy defense minister Tobias Ellwood.
“The armed forces stand ready to support Britain on a practical basis,” he added.
The minister admitted that a no-deal Brexit could cause chaos in Britain and many people may require the help of the armed forces to cope with emergencies in their daily lives.
“With the transition from Brexit, if there is a requirement to provide assistance we’re looking right across the full spectrum of requirements to make sure that we are prepared,” said Ellwood.
Chief of Britain’s Defense Staff General Sir Nicholas Carter also confirmed that there were contingency plans for an uneasy withdrawal from the EU.
“What we always do is make sensible contingency plans for all sorts of eventualities,” said Carter, adding, “At this stage, I think people are confident there will be a deal, if there’s not one then we stand ready to help in any way we can.”
With Brexit talks reportedly stalled over a disagreement between British and EU negotiators on the future situation of the Irish land border, the UK faces a real chance of leaving the EU without a deal.
The scenario could have dire economic and social consequences for Britain with some even warning that there could be a civil unrest on the streets as people may face acute shortage of some basic items, including food and medicine.