Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps CREDIT MOD
Brexit

Defence Staff Could Be Redeployed For No-Deal Brexit

It is reported up to 1,000 defence workers could be redeployed to other areas in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps CREDIT MOD

(Picture courtesy MOD).

Up to 1,000 defence workers could be redeployed to other areas in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

BBC News has seen a memo inviting staff to volunteer from the Defence Equipment and Support agency which provides food, clothing and vehicles for the armed forces.

It employs almost 12,000 civil servants and military personnel at 150 bases across the UK and abroad.

The memo was issued by senior manager Neville Parton, who said the agency had been asked to identify volunteers "across all levels and role profiles" as part of contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit.

The Scottish National Party said it was evidence of chaos and uncertainty, but the government said the flexibility of the civil service allowed departments to share staff for joint projects.

The head of the civil service has dismissed reports in the press that Ministers are considering the introduction of Martial Law as "complete nonsense", in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. 

However, Cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill did highlight how a no-deal Brexit would cause some disruption to national security, as he appeared before a parliamentary committee on Monday.

Speaking to the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy and quizzed on reports that martial law could be implemented in the event of civil unrest following a no-deal Brexit, Sir Mark said they are "complete nonsense".

As he was questioned by the cross-party committee, Sir Mark also said there would be a "disruptive effect" to national security in the event of a no-deal Brexit and the sharing of information between the UK and EU.

As a member of the EU, the UK is part of Europol, the Schengen Information System and the European Arrest Warrant.

Sir Mark said if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified and the political declaration is turned into the detailed arrangements already set out then "our national security should be protected".

Asked if that changes with a no-deal Brexit, Sir Mark said there is contingency planning in place.

Sir Mark, who is also Theresa May's national security adviser, highlighted how Russia and terrorism remain the biggest and "most acute" threats to Britain.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that reservists in the British military could be called out on operations if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The MOD has already confirmed planning is underway for if a no-deal Brexit takes place.