A top civil servant has suggested troops patrolling Britain’s borders would be a ‘last resort’ if the UK left the EU with no deal on immigration.

Chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Mr Rutnam said when speaking to Labour MP Yvette Cooper:

“I think it would be unwise to rule anything out. It seems clear to me that any use of the military would be an absolute last resort. Our preference – strong preference – is to deal with the border and security needed at the border, through border force and that is the basis in which our planning is proceeding.”

Mr Rutnam however reportedly reassured the committee, adding that they had started recruiting an additional 300 immigration officers to ensure all possible outcomes were catered for.

This kind of deployment would not be without precedent. Earlier in the year, Operation Temperer was put into place. It was a plan to deploy troops to support police officers in key locations following a major terrorist attack. It was put into effect for the first time following the Manchester Arena bombing.

The plan provided for up to 5,100 soldiers to be deployed to “augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties” at key sites in major UK cities. All troops will be working under the command of police officers.

Prime Minister Theresa May said at the time:

“The change in the threat level means that there will be additional resources and support made available to the police as they work to keep us all safe. This request is part of a well-established plan known as Operation Temperer in which both the armed forces and the police officers involved are well-trained and well-prepared to work in this kind of environment.”


  1. This sounds like complete bs. Never going to happen. We still have a borderforce. Why would the military need to get involved in a civilian matter regardless of a deal?

  2. Actually, doesn’t matter how many people you have patrolling the border, if the Government is unwilling to deport those caught trying to sneak in , reduce the huge backlog of failed asylum seekers within the country, then you still have a huge magnet drawing people in.

  3. “The plan provided for up to 5,100 soldiers to be deployed to “augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties” at key sites in major UK cities. ”

    Not in Scotland.

  4. Defence cuts would allow for the formation of a larger Border Force. Far more relevant than send ships at huge expense to far flung reaches in a vain attempt to rekindle memories of Empire.

    Hopefully, what I read about the sale of HMS Ocean, Albion, Bulwark and other ships is to occur. I have again written to the Secretary of State reminding him that the opportunity to make huge savings will soon be with us.


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