British officials have dusted off Cold War-era emergency plans to relocate the royal family riots break out in London if Britain suffers a disruptive departure from the European Union, two British newspapers have reported.
The plans, originally intended to be used in case of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, have since been “repurposed” in recent weeks, The Sunday Times reported.
“These emergency evacuation plans have been in existence since the Cold War, but have now been repurposed in the event of civil disorder following a no-deal Brexit,” the Cabinet Office source told the newspaper.
But the Sunday Times said Dai Davies, an ex-police officer formerly in charge of royal protection, told the Sunday Times, that he expected Queen Elizabeth would be moved out of London if there was unrest.
“If there were problems in London, clearly you would remove the royal family away from those key sites,” Davies was quoted as saying.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP and supporter of Brexit, told the Mail on Sunday that he believed the plans were a “wartime fantasy” and showed unnecessary panic by officials over a no-deal Brexit as senior royals had remained in London during bombing in the second world war.
“The over-excited officials who have dreamt up this nonsense are clearly more students of fantasy than of history,” he told the Mail.
News of the reported plans for the royals comes amid uncertainty over Britain’s looming departure from the European Union scheduled for March 29, but U.K. politicians are divided over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan.