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UK Government to put Army on streets in Brexit no-deal to ensure stability - chaos says MP Hazzard

By Jonathan Bell

Government plans to put troops back on the streets of the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit demonstrate the chaos of the Prime Minister's Brexit strategy and are an admission of the harm the UK crashing out of the EU does, Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard has said.

The Government has issued formal notice for Army reservists to be called up to help in the event of a no deal.

Ministers said it was to tackle the impact on "welfare, health and security of UK citizens and economic stability of the UK”.

The Ministry of Defence said it was supporting no-deal preparations across government to ensure there are “effective and proportionate contingency plans in place”.

Around 3,500 troops are on standby to help with no-deal planning and 350 of them have been called up and deployed. It is not known where they will be stationed.

“No government can seriously claim that any policy that results in the need to deploy soldiers onto the streets is a good one," said South Down MP Hazzard.

“Not only has there been chaos in the British Parliament but now it is clear the Tories are acknowledging the scale of the dysfunction with these plans.

"It highlights the need for the EU and Irish government to stand firm on what has been agreed in order to protect Ireland from this Brexit chaos."

He added: "It shows how chaotic the British government's Brexit policy has become."

Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to rule out a no-deal. The DUP said maintain the option would demonstrate to the EU the UK's seriousness in the withdrawal talks.

The troops will initially be deployed for one year, starting from February 10 performing tasks such as reinforcing existing operations, working with other agencies and providing specialist skills.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster, in a statement to Parliament, announced an order to enable reservists to be called into permanent service in support of the Government's no-deal contingency plans.

“Defence is committed to assisting the cabinet office coordinated work programme to ensure that there are effective and proportionate contingency plans in place to mitigate the potential immediate impacts leaving the EU, under a no-deal scenario, might have on the welfare, health and security of UK citizens and economic stability of the UK,” he said.

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