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Brexit preparations: Troops on standby as businesses are 'watching in horror'



The U.K. government is stepping up its preparations for a "no deal Brexit," including placing the military on standby. The Brexit – the the U.K. would leave the European Union – since citizens voted for it in 2016.

"Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told the U.K. Parliament on Tuesday. "And what we do is have 3,500 service personnel held at readiness, including regulars and reserves in order to support any government department on any contingencies they may need."

 PHOTO: Britains Prime Minister Theresa May talks with UK Border Force officers as they visit their Command Center at London Heathrow Airport in London on Dec. 19, 2018. Pool via AFP / Getty Images
Prime Minister Theresa May talks with UK Border Force officers as they visit their Command Center at London Heathrow Airport in London on Dec. 19, 2018.
 PHOTO: A picture shows Union flags, slogans and slogans at a political rally organized by the pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave group in London on Dec. 14, 2018. Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP / Getty Images
A picture shows Union flags, stickers and banners with slogans at a political rally organized by the pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave group in central London on Dec 14, 2018.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been negotiating a deal with the EU since June 23, 2016, when Britain voted to leave in a referendum delivered by the Ruling Conservative Party.

A no deal Brexit would entail leaving the EU on the March 29 deadline with no agreement on the future trade and security relationship between the U.K. and the EU. The announcement is made as the future of the Brexit deal

"Brexit," a government spokesperson told ABC News. "The Ministry of Defense routinely undertakes contingency planning and as part of this, the department has 3,500 regular and reserve on standby in the UK."

The prime minister has released a vote in the United States. If the deal is down in Parliament, there is a higher chance that the U.K. want to leave the EU without a deal.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond also provided a further £ 2 billion worth of funding towards Brexit preparations for all possible outcomes.

"Since 2016, the chancellor has already provided £ 4.2 billion towards Brexit preparations to ensure we are ready for all scenarios," the government spokesperson said. "£ 2 billion of that funding for 2019/2020 will be allocated shortly."

Businesses 'watching in horror'

Brexit on Friday.

The Federal Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the EEF Manufacturers' Association – that said "business has been watched in horror" as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit increases.

 PHOTO: Anti-Brexit campaigners wave Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on Dec. 17, 2018, ahead of a statement by Britains Prime Minister Theresa May. Tolga Akmen / AFP / Getty Images
Anti-Brexit campaigners wave Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on Dec. 17, 2018, ahead of a statement by Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May.

"Businesses of all sizes are reaching the point of no return, with many putting in place today." the statement said.

"Firms are pausing or diverting investment that should boost productivity, innovation, jobs and pay into stockpiling of goods or materials, diverting cross border trade and moving offices, factories and tax jobs out of the UK while many companies who are preparing for a no-deal scenario, there are hundreds of thousands who have not yet started – and can not be expected to do so in a short space of time. "

"With just 100 days to go, the suggestion that 'no-deal' can be 'managed' is not a credible proposition," they added.

'A safety measure against the crash'

ABC News spoke to senior government minister Amber Rudd, the secretary of state for work and pensions, who said they were leaving the EU without a deal was not the government's intention.

 PHOTO: Amber Rudd the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with David Mundell Downing Street, London, Dec. 18, 2018. Alastair Grant / AP
Amber Rudd the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with David Mundell Downing Street, in London, Dec. 18, 2018.

"The Government is stepping up its preparations for no-deal. Our position is unequivocally that we are seeking to make sure we do not have a deal, but there is a precautionary contingency plan for no-deal, "she said.

"At Cabinet yesterday, I refer to no-deal planning My opinion Brexit would be bad for the country and bad for business so I'm committed to like the rest of Cabinet, to support the Prime Minister's deal so we avoid this. "


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