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UK government bracing for ‘riots in the streets’ under no-deal Brexit, says Lord Kerslake

UK government is bracing for ‘riots in the streets’ under no-deal Brexit, says ex-civil servant chief Lord Kerslake who demands second EU vote

  • Lord Bob Kerslake has said the government is preparing for possibility of riots
  • Former head of Civil Service also called for second referendum to stop ‘disaster’
  • Number 10 dismissed claim but said they’re make ‘sensible plans’ for scenarios 

The government is making plans to deal with ‘riots in the street’ if there is a no-deal Brexit, it has been claimed.

Lord Kerslake, who led the Civil Service from 2012-14, said too many workers are spending ‘significant time not doing the jobs they’re paid to do, but preparing for the possibility of riots’.

He also demanded a second referendum to stop a ‘disaster,’ reports the Mirror.

Lord Kerslake said: ‘We shouldn’t be preparing for riots in the streets, which is what we’re doing.’

Former head of the Civil Service Lord Bob Kerslake, pictured, has claimed that the government is making plans for ‘riots in the streets’ if there’s a no-deal Brexit

When asked to explain what these preparations could be, Lord Kerslake told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘I guess you look at where you deploy resources like the police, how the services are organised.

‘We don’t need to be wasting people’s time doing this, we could eliminate the option of no deal now,’ reports iNews.

Although dismissing the claims, Number 10 revealed they are making ‘sensible’ plans for ‘all scenarios.’ 

Yesterday some of Whitehall’s most senior former mandarins called on Theresa May to put Brexit on hold, warning the UK is not ready for the uncertainty it will create.

Number 10 has dismissed the claims but said they are making 'sensible plans' for all scenarios. Pictured is Theresa May

Number 10 has dismissed the claims but said they are making ‘sensible plans’ for all scenarios. Pictured is Theresa May

Crossbench peer Lord O’Donnell, who was head of the Civil Service under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron, said it would be ‘irresponsible’ for the Government to consider taking Britain out of the EU without any clear idea of the final outcome.

His successor in the role, Lord Kerslake, warned Britain is heading for a ‘blindfold’ break which will lead to years of wrangling with Brussels.

Lord Kerslake said it is clear the UK is not ready to leave the EU and he called for the two-year Article 50 withdrawal process to be extended beyond the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29. 

In a report published by the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum, Lord Kerslake said there is no clarity about key elements of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

He said the ‘proper functioning of government’ required a proper understanding of how issues such as the future regulation of air travel and drugs, the sharing of data and criminal records, and co-operation on tackling climate change would be dealt with in future.

‘Britain is divided, directionless and hurtling towards a legal deadline with no idea where we will end up after we cross it,’ he said.

‘A responsible government should now acknowledge our predicament: we are not ready to embark on a journey when we do not know where we will end up.

‘We should not leave until and unless we know where we are going.

‘If we do, the only certainty is that the resources, energy and talent of our country will be consumed by Brexit for many more years to come.

‘The nightmare will not end. It will simply take on another form. A blindfold Brexit that offers no clarity can never provide closure.

‘It means the arguments about Brexit will just go on and on.’


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