Police are drawing up contingency plans amid concerns a no-deal Brexit will lead to civil disorder if the country faces shortages of goods, food and medicine, according to a leaked document.
The plans include the “real possibility” of calling on military assistance and preventing officers taking leave around the date of the UK’s withdrawal in March next year.
The document prepared by the National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC) warns of traffic queues at ports with “unprecedented and overwhelming” disruption to the road network in the UK.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I’m glad the police and other experts are looking into this and thinking what might happen in a no-deal scenario.”
He added: “I don’t expect a no-deal outcome but we need to prepare for all contingencies.”
Asked if the UK could face civil disorder resulting in widespread unrest, Mr Javid said: “I think it is right that government prepares for all possible outcomes.”
The leaked document obtained by the Sunday Times revealed concerns around medical supplies could “feed civil disorder”, while a rise in the price of goods could also cause problems.
The potential for a restricted supply of goods raised concerns of “widespread protest which could then escalate into disorder”.
It could also trigger a rise in non-Brexit related acquisitive crime such as theft.