Fire ser­vice ready for any Brexit civil un­rest

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - News - JU­LIA COR­BETT news@west­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS in the West Coun­try have put in place mea­sures to tackle po­ten­tial civil un­rest if Bri­tain leaves the Euro­pean Union with­out a deal.

Byron Standen, head of pre­ven­tion and pro­tec­tion at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, said al­though highly un­likely, emer­gency ser­vices had re­sponse plans in place should is­sues sur­round­ing food and medicine sup­plies ma­te­ri­alise.

He said there was a risk that pub­lic un­rest could fol­low if a deal was not agreed.

Coun­cil­lors praised their ef­forts, which were re­vealed dur­ing a per­for­mance and scru­tiny com­mit­tee meet­ing held at De­vizes train­ing cen­tre for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Ser­vice on Thurs­day.

Mr Standen said: “We have been pre-plan­ning for Brexit. If no deal is made we need to un­der­stand what that might mean for our re­silience. There are a num­ber of is­sues which could po­ten­tially arise if no deal is made.

“Is­sues with food sup­plies and med- icine may lead to civil un­rest and we need to know what would be our plan. It may be a stretch and there isn’t a re­port per se, but it is a con­cern and we will have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing if it is likely that there will be no deal in Jan­uary so we can re­act in an ap­pro­pri­ate way, based on these planned as­sump­tions.”

Warmin­ster, Copheap and Wy­lye coun­cil­lor, Christo­pher New­bury, said: “I think plan­ning for all even­tu­al­i­ties is right and it is re­as­sur­ing to hear of these be­ing made.”

Brexit Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab this week said Bri­tain was ex­pect­ing to con­clude a Brexit deal with the EU within the next three weeks.

In a let­ter to MPs, he said an agree­ment could be fi­nalised be­fore Novem­ber 21.

But soon af­ter the let­ter was re­leased, he was forced to ad­mit there was “no set date for the ne­go­ti­a­tions to con­clude”.

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