As part of the general preparation for a possible “no-deal” BREXIT, the Government has asked the MOD to allocate about 1,000 staff from the Defence Equipment and Support agency to assist with any logistics problems that might arise in the days following our withdrawal from Europe. According to a letter sent out by senior DES management, they are calling for volunteers to be ready to leave their usual jobs and to move to wherever they might be needed.
Some have characterised this as “scare-mongering” by the Government – who are now being “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” when it comes to preparations for a no-deal departure. Others have said it is “too little, far too late”, given that the exit date is now only nine weeks away. In addition, there are some who are accusing the Government of stripping out the support capability of the Armed Forces at a time when the MOD is already critically over-stretched.
In what is not an entirely unexpected intervention, the SNP’s Stephen Gethins has commented:
“The chaos and uncertainty is all-consuming. The government wants to divert 1,000 officials away from vital work supporting our armed forces, without the slightest clue what they’re going to be doing. The UK government’s contingency planning for a no deal is the very definition of too little, too late”.
From the perspective of the people who will have volunteered before the 25th January cut-off date, it is likely that the prospect of a bit of a change, as well as some of the excitement of getting involved in a range of possible contingency work, will be welcomed. They might well find themselves dealing with fast-moving situations demanding quick-thinking and snappy decisions; all the sort of things that can make life more exciting in many ways.
Given the possible need to access some of the many bases and sites owned by the MOD across the UK, It also makes sense to have these staff on hand to assist and co-ordinate with commercial logistics companies who are likely to be the main players as the country shifts from European to World Trade Organisation regulations.
It also makes good sense given that we, the taxpayer, pay for these people to train and execute complex logistical operations in times of war, and who are therefore highly likely to be amongst the best placed people to cope with any problems of this sort arising out of BREXIT.
It is with this in mind that TMT says the Government move is in fact very sensible and has the merit of providing our defence-ILS system with valuable experience which it can use to good effect in the event of some future major deployment of our Armed Forces.