You can read 19 more articles this month
DEFENCE SECRETARY Gavin Williamson sparked fears today following his announcement that 3,500 troops will be "held at readiness" to help with a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Williamson said the contingency plans are being put in place after the cabinet agreed to implement no deal Brexit plans.
The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), a longstanding British pacifist network, called on Mr Williamson to rule out the use of troops for social control in the event of civil unrest.
PPU spokesman Symon Hill said: “Both leavers and remainers emphasise their belief in democracy. Democracy is not about controlling people through the barrel of a gun. Sending troops onto the streets is no alternative to listening to people's grievances.
“Gavin Williamson may be thinking in terms of using troops to distribute food and medicines in the event of a breakdown of supplies. If this is what he means, he needs to say so.
"These tasks could be better handled by civilian emergency services if they received the extra funding that Williamson is demanding for the armed forces.
"The chaos over Brexit must not be misused to present the armed forces as they are the only people who can save us in a crisis.”
He pointed out that under British law, troops have no authority over civilians unless martial law is declared, including no power to carry out arrests.
Mr Williamson made the announcement after presenting the "modernising defence" review, where he called for an extra £340 million for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in addition to the extra £1 billion recently granted.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) acting general secretary Sara Medi Jones argued the figures confirm MoD spending is "spiralling out of control."
She said: “The truth is, replacing Trident is bankrupting the MoD. Scrapping the programme would help bring an end to these financial difficulties and allow more money to be invested in addressing the real security threats that Mr Williamson has raised."
Shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman added: “It is testament to the Prime Minister’s failure in these negotiations that the government is now spending billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to prepare for a no-deal Brexit that is rejected by Parliament and many of those sat around the Cabinet table.
“A no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for jobs, the economy and the border in Northern Ireland. It is simply not a viable option."
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.