There’s been some muttering about martial law in the aftermath of Brexit. Perhaps matters will get so bad that rioting mobs in the streets require the calling out of the squaddies to restore order. All rather unlikely of course unless the Army is to be directed at the celebratory street parties as we regain our ancient liberties.
However, Tony Blair did make quite certain that it would be – legally at least – easy enough to declare such an emergency. In fact, it’s entirely obvious that Brexit would qualify. The only question is whether the Remoaners have the cojones to go for it:
Now, it has emerged Brexit planners are considering the possibility of enforcing martial law in the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Whitehall officials are examining how to use the powers available under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to quell any civil disobedience which results from no deal.
They can quite obviously do it too. For here’s the relevant part of that Act:
Meaning of “emergency”
(1)In this Part “emergency” means—
(a)an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom,
(b)an event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom, or
(c)war, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) an event or situation threatens damage to human welfare only if it involves, causes or may cause—
(a)loss of human life,
(b)human illness or injury,
(d)damage to property,
(e)disruption of a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel,
(f)disruption of a system of communication,
(g)disruption of facilities for transport, or
(h)disruption of services relating to health.
(3)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) an event or situation threatens damage to the environment only if it involves, causes or may cause—
(a)contamination of land, water or air with biological, chemical or radio-active matter, or
(b)disruption or destruction of plant life or animal life.
(4)A Minister of the Crown, or, in relation to Scotland, the Scottish Ministers, may by order—
(a)provide that a specified event or situation, or class of event or situation, is to be treated as falling, or as not falling, within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1);
Amber Rudd declares that Brexit threatens the cross channel ferries and we’re in an emergency, civil rights are suspended and, effectively, we’ve got martial law.
No, it doesn’t have to be the Minister in charge of ferries that does this concerning ferries, nor the Home Sec who observes the general state of law and order. A Minister, a threat to transport, that’s good enough.
Aren’t we so lucky with the way in which Tony Blair sorted out our ancient protections against arbitrary government?