UK Defense Ministry has ordered army reservists to be placed on standby to quell potential unrest from a no-deal Brexit. PM Theresa May has been accused of trying to impose her deal with ‘doomsday’ forecasts in the past.
Announcing the order in the House of Commons on Thursday, Defence Minister Mark Lancaster declared that army reservists would be ready to help minimise any disruption caused by a no-deal Brexit from February 10, 2019 to February 9, 2020.
Lancaster told MPs that the main role of reservists’ will be to mitigate any negative effects a “‘no-deal’ scenario might have on the welfare, health and security of UK citizens,” as well as on the economic stability of the UK.
“We would also expect Reserves to be drawn upon to support the implementation of contingency plans developed by Other Government Departments,” he added.
Prime Minister May has been accused of stoking fears in the run-up to March 29, the deadline for the UK to leave the EU, by both her own party members and Brexit campaigners for quite some time. Earlier this month, former trade secretary and senior Tory Lord Peter Lilley accused the government of trying to “play up the supposed horrors” of leaving the EU in a bid to persuade hesitant MPs to vote for the deal she had agreed with the EU. It came after the Department of Transport devised a plan to send 150 trucks to test the Dover crossing in a Brexit rehearsal during a Monday rush hour.
While May said that the contingency plans outlined by her cabinet were needed so the people “take reassurance and comfort,” Brexit campaigner and former UKIP deputy chair, Suzanne Evans, accused her of rehashing “project fear.”
News of the mobilization plan comes after the PM attempted to reach out to leaders of opposition parties in a bid to find a new way forward, following the crushing defeat of her Brexit proposal in Parliament on Tuesday, where her government lost by 230 votes.
She has held brief discussions with leaders of the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in an attempt to find cross-party solutions.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to enter talks with the PM, insisting that no discussions could take place on Brexit before the prospect of a no-deal scenario is taken off the table – a move that could create a severe split within the Tory party.
In a leaked conference call, Chancellor Philip Hammond told business leaders that he foresees no-deal being taken off the table within days.
Pro-Remain MPs are preparing to table a series of amendments and bills that would remove the threat of a ‘no-deal’ ahead of a vote on May’s ‘plan B’ deal scheduled for January 29, according to The Mirror.
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