London, Great Britain—The UK police are planning for civil unrests in the event there isn’t a deal on Brexit.
A leaked police document predicts that a no-deal on Brexit would create food, medical, and power shortages in Britain. The document prepared by the National Police Coordination Centre (NPCC) concludes that such an event would most probably trigger civil disorder. To counter such a grim scenario, the document states that law enforcement officers would not be allowed to take leave close to the date of withdrawal.
According to the current plan of British Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK is set to depart from the European Union (EU) this upcoming March.
“I’m glad the police and other experts are looking into this and thinking what might happen in a no-deal scenario,” said Sajid Javid, the British Home Secretary.
Although he explicitly stated that he doesn’t expect such a scenario, he stressed the need to be “prepared for all contingencies.”
The document, furthermore, discusses the possibility of military involvement in case the Police cannot handle the situation. As opposed to America, the British military can intervene domestically if the occasion mandates it—the famous Iranian Embassy hostage rescue by the SAS, and their response to the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, are good examples of this policy. In the U.S., on the other hand, Delta Force wouldn’t have been able to do the same.
The Police are also worried that a no-deal would create communication and traffic issues.
“At this stage, we have no intelligence to suggest there will be an increase in crime or disorder. However, we remain vigilant and will continue to assess any threats and develop plans accordingly,” said Chief Constable Charlie Hall, operations officer for the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
He added, “The police are planning for all scenarios that may require a police response in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”
In response to Theresa May’s latest political manoeuvres, Boris Johnson, the former British Foreign Secretary and leading Brexit campaigner, said “We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier [the chief EU negotiator for Brexit].”
Following the Brexit vote and David Cameron’s resignation, Johnson vied for the leadership of the Conservative Party and Britain. After a Shakespearean turn of events—he was backstabbed by his friend and fellow plotter, Michael Gove—he stepped down from the leadership race and was rewarded with the Foreign Office. He didn’t last long, however. And now he is once again vying for the top of the pole of power.
The police aren’t the only who are worried about no-deal Brexit. British companies are planning to stockpile around $51 billion of imports to minimize the impact of a financial crash that would follow such a scenario. Pharmaceutical companies have been especially advised to be prepared.
A no-deal Brexit means that the UK will leave the EU without having reached an agreement on key border, customs, trade, law, freedom-of-movement, and security issues. In such a scenario, for example, there would have to be border control in the borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland, with unfathomable consequences over the Good Friday agreement that ended the Troubles. Also, the more than 3.7 million EU citizens living in the UK and the 1.3 million British residing in the EU would be up in the air. And these are just two possible outcomes of a no-deal Brexit.
One thing is certain, however: the British economy will take quite a punch, at least initially.