In Brief

Army on standby to handle shortages in case of no-deal Brexit

Plans are in place for the military to help deliver key supplies around the country

Preparations are reportedly underway for the British army to help distribute food, medicine and fuel in case of shortages if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal in place.

The military will be called in to assist civilian authorities if they run out of such supplies, with helicopters and army trucks being used to shuttle aid to people around the country, The Sunday Times reports.

An unnamed minister told the newspaper: “There is a lot of civil contingency planning around the prospect of no deal. That’s not frightening the horses, that’s just being utterly realistic.”

The impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on the NHS has already been reported, with the health service potentially moving to a year-round “winter crisis footing”.

Some fear that supermarkets and hospitals will run out of food and medicine “in a matter of days”, Business Insider reports.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab promised last week to make sure food supplies remained “adequate”.

Prime Minister Theresa May told 5 News: “Far from being worried about preparations that we are making, I would say that people should take reassurance and comfort from the fact that the government is saying we are in a negotiation, we are working for a good deal – I believe we can get a good deal – but... because we don’t know what the outcome is going to be... let’s prepare for every eventuality.

“This is not just about stockpiling. That concept, what it is, is about making sure that we will be able to continue to do the things that are necessary once we have left the European Union, if we leave without a deal.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond, who agreed with the Prime Minister about stockpiling, said: “That’s a sensible and responsible thing for a Government to do and large businesses who are importing or exporting large volumes of products or produce will be making contingency plans, and we would encourage them to do so and work closely with them as they are putting those plans together.”

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