The UK government plans to deploy 3,500 British troops to handle no-deal Brexit chaos

Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
  • The UK government will have 3,500 troops on standby in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Tuesday.
  • Williamson said the troops would be “at readiness” in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The news came as the UK government announced it would trigger all its remaining emergency no-deal Brexit plans.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal appears likely to be rejected by MPs in January, increasing the likelihood of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal in March.

LONDON – The UK government could deploy thousands of British troops in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said.

Williamson told MPs on Tuesday afternoon that the troops would be “at readiness” to be deployed as requested by various government departments.

Williamson said the Ministry of Defence would “have 3,500 service personnel held at readiness, including regulars and reserves, in order to support any government department on any contingencies they may need.”

Troops could be deployed at British borders to help manage inbound goods and people, as well as in the event of civil unrest.

Government ramps up emergency no-deal planning

Theresa MaySean Gallup/Getty ImagesPrime Minister Theresa May.

The news comes after Downing Street announced that it would trigger all its remaining emergency no-deal Brexit plans.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal appears likely to be rejected by MPs in January, increasing the likelihood of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal in March.

Ministers agreed on Tuesday to allocate an extra £2 billion in funding to manage the chaos of leaving the EU without a deal.

A Downing Street representative confirmed on Tuesday that the Cabinet had agreed to dramatically ramp up preparations for a no-deal scenario.

Government departments will now activate all contingency plans drawn up by civil servants, including a move to book space on ferries to ensure that medical supplies arriving in the UK do not run out.

The Department for Exiting the EU will also send 80,000 emails to UK business groups and roll out a nationwide advertising campaign warning firms to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

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