A Police Federation boss has warned of possible chaos if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place – and says he doesn’t think the force is ready to cope with that possible situation.
Highlighting how border issues in Northern Ireland, delays at ports including Dover and a general lack of food and medical supplies could become a serious issue for the police, Kempton said: “This is 2018, it’s the year people dialled 999 because KFC ran out of chicken. If that can happen, imagine what will happen if we start to see food or medical supply shortages.
“We live in a liberal democracy. Protest is good, protest is part of being a democracy. Where that moves into disorder, though, to violence that’s the concern.”
Adding that “it’s a real concern that those protests might escalate into disorder,” Kempton said: “That would obviously need policing and that brings dangers for the general public.”
In response, a government spokesperson insisted: “While the chances of no-deal have been reduced considerably, the government will continue to do the responsible thing and prepare for all eventualities, in case a final agreement cannot be reached.
“The UK and the EU have taken a decisive step forward, agreeing the provisional terms of the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU and making significant progress on the outline terms of our future relationship.”
Kempton said the police have had “limited information” about how to prepare for Brexit.
Theresa May revealed her draft Brexit plan earlier this week and immediately faced criticism from her own MPs, as well as opposition ones.
Despite numerous high-profile critics – and Cabinet resignations – the PM remains insistent that the UK will exit the EU as planned, on 29 March 2019.