Emer­gency work­ers be­ing hired to han­dle post-Brexit dis­rup­tion

The Guardian Australia - - World News - Nadeem Bad­shah

A team of civil emer­gency work­ers are be­ing re­cruited on salaries of up to £50,000 a year to help the coun­try cope with any fall­out from Brexit.

The govern­ment has posted ad­verts look­ing for re­silience ad­vis­ers to han­dle any “dis­rup­tion” caused by the var­i­ous per­mu­ta­tions of Bri­tain’s exit from the Euro­pean Union next year. The spe­cial­ists would be em­ployed un­til June 2019 but “with the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­ten­sion or per­ma­nency”.

The re­silience and emer­gency divi­sion (Red) posts are billed as “ex­cit­ing and chal­leng­ing” and come with a £45,938 salary, ris­ing to £50,006 in Lon­don.

Ap­pli­cants are told Red helps com­mu­ni­ties across the UK to “re­spond to and re­cover from civil emer­gen­cies of all types”. The job ad­ver­tise­ment, posted by the Min­istry of Hous­ing, Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment (MHCLG) calls for three re­silience ad­vis­ers for “EU exit readi­ness and re­sponse sup­port to lo­cal pre­pared­ness”.

Key skills for the roles in­clude be­ing pro­fi­cient in “strate­gic think­ing” and com­mu­ni­cat­ing con­fi­dently and ef­fec­tively with a range of au­di­ences in­clud­ing min­is­ters.

The ad­vert said: “We have nine-month sec­ond­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties (with the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­ten­sion) to sup­port MHCLG’s prepa­ra­tions for EU exit, both in the case of a no-deal or ne­go­ti­ated exit. These roles are to pro­vide sup­port to the lo­cal re­silience com­mu­nity to de­velop, test and ex­er­cise plans for the mit­i­ga­tion of any dis­rup­tion fol­low­ing our exit from the EU.”

A MHCLG spokesman said: “It is in ev­ery­one’s in­ter­ests to se­cure a good deal for both sides and we think that is by far and away the high­est prob­a­bil­ity, but we have a duty to plan for the al­ter­na­tive.

“We con­tinue to work closely with lo­cal ar­eas, and meet rep­re­sen­ta­tives reg­u­larly. Govern­ment is do­ing the sen­si­ble thing and tak­ing pre­cau­tions as we plan for all sce­nar­ios.”

Labour MEP Jude Kir­ton-Dar­ling wrote on Twit­ter: “Worth re­mind­ing that we are do­ing this self-harm to our­selves – what a sham­bles! The Govern­ment is hir­ing spe­cial­ists to deal with ‘civil emer­gen­cies’ caused by Brexit.”

The home sec­re­tary, Sa­jid Javid, last month re­fused to rule out the pos­si­bil­ity that a no-deal Brexit could cause a rise in crime and wide­spread protests es­ca­lat­ing into weeks of civil dis­or­der.

Con­tin­gency plans for a no-deal de­par­ture drawn up by the Na­tional Po­lice Co­or­di­na­tion Cen­tre warned that short­ages of medicine could “feed civil dis­or­der”, while price rises could prompt “wide­spread protest which could then es­ca­late into dis­or­der”.

The doc­u­ment said there could be an in­crease in crime, no­tably theft and rob­bery, amid short­ages of food and drugs, as well as the “ex­pec­ta­tion that more peo­ple will be­come ill”.

Part of the re­port said: “There is an ex­pec­ta­tion that crime not di­rectly con­nected to Brexit will rise, as ac­quis­i­tive crime will ha­bit­u­ally rise in the event of re­stricted avail­abil­ity of goods.”

Javid told BBC One’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. I don’t ex­pect a no-deal out­come but we need to pre­pare for all con­tin­gen­cies and it’s ab­so­lutely cor­rect.”

Pho­to­graph: Jack Tay­lor/Getty Im­ages

Anti-Brexit demon­stra­tors near the Houses of Par­lia­ment.

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