Wales politics

Brexit: Martial law 'must not be used' if no deal - Plaid

Jonathan Edwards
Image caption Jonathan Edwards has called on the defence secretary to rule out the use of martial law

The use of martial law in the event of disorder after a no-deal Brexit should be ruled out by the defence secretary, Plaid Cymru has said.

The party called on Gavin Williamson to "make clear" the UK government was not considering using soldiers on the street in that scenario.

Martial law involves suspending normal law, and temporary military rule.

The government said there were no plans to use defence resources for public order in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson should rule out the potential for martial law to be used, Plaid say

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has tabled a parliamentary motion calling on the defence secretary to clarify that the imposition of martial law was not under consideration.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has denied reports that the government was "specifically" planning for martial law if the UK left without a deal - but he has not ruled it out.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Mr Edwards said: "It is both absurd and terrifying in equal measure that the British state is considering putting soldiers on the streets as a result of their own bungled Brexit policy.

"The British government must clarify the mission statement it has sent accompanying the call up and calling for it to be published.

"The economic effect of imposing a state of emergency would be catastrophic. That is not to mention the democratic and social implications."

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "There are no plans to utilise defence resources for public order in the event of a no-deal Brexit, however defence remains closely engaged on contingency planning and remains available to support the civil authorities if necessary."

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