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UK police preparing for 'civil disorder' after no-deal Brexit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pro- and anti-Brexit demonstrators face off outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 5, 2018. (AFP photo)

British security forces have plans in place to confront widespread rioting and "civil disorder" that could follow if Britain exits the European Union in March of next year without a deal, leaked documents have revealed.

The secret papers were prepared by the National Police Co-ordination Centre in a bid to ensure all forces around the country are ready for Brexit even if London and Brussels fail to reach a withdrawal deal.

The papers predicted that "civil disorder" could be sparked by a possible disruption to supply of medicine. They warned of "widespread protest which could then escalate into disorder".

It is estimated that Britain could suffer from civil unrest for at least three months before or after the official withdrawal date, which is March 29, 2019.

The plan includes the ‘real possibility’ of calling on military assistance and preventing officers taking leave around the Brexit date.

Despite initial refusal to admit that there are plans for a no-deal Brexit, the government has become more straightforward in its way of announcing contingency measures for such a scenario.

This comes amid increasing warnings that UK Prime Minister Theresa May could fail in her attempts to reach a deal with the EU on Brexit.

Interior minister Sajid Javid said Sunday that having plans for security problems that might be caused by a no-deal Brexit was a sign that government was prepared for all contingencies.

“I'm glad the police and other experts are looking into this and thinking what might happen in a no-deal scenario,” Javid said.

“I don't expect a no-deal outcome but we need to prepare for all contingencies."

However, the opposition Labour party reacted to the contingency plans, saying they signaled that the situation after a no-deal Brexit could be one with acute ramifications.

Louise Haigh, crime spokeswoman for the Labour, said a “no-deal Brexit would leave Britain on the brink,” adding that a “nightmare” could await Britain.

Talks continue between Britain and the EU as the two sides hope they could reach an agreement in the coming weeks.

British officials insist a deal would be highly possible despite disagreements remaining, especially on how the Irish border should be administered in the future.


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