2004 Civil Contingencies Act
What is the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act?
The act was introduced by Tony Blair’s government because the previous emergency framework had proved inadequate during the fuel crisis of 2000 and the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001.
Powers that can be used under the legislation, include “any provision which the person making the regulations is satisfied is appropriate to protect human life, health and safety, and to protect or restore property and supplies of money, food, water, energy or fuel.
Under section 22, the Government can implement curfews, bans on travel, assembly of people, confiscation of property and of course the deployment of the armed forces onto our streets. The Government would also have the power to amend any act of parliament, except the Human Rights 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,
How could the act be used?
Just how much the impact of brexit will have on the people in the UK is still unclear, it is apparent that there will be delays in goods coming into the UK and this will result in shortages of essential supplies. These shortages will lead to price increases as demand quickly outweighs supply and in some cases could lead to certain goods being rationed. This is not a short term scenario, neither is it temporary, this is the long term reality of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
The UK Government knows that the impact on the people will be devastating and that there is a strong possibility that the resulting shortages will lead to civil unrest, and it is for this reason that they are considering enacting emergency powers under the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act.
Many will choose to dismiss this as rumour or fantasy and will tell you that it will never come to this, but ask yourself, if that is the case then why have all reserve troops been put on standby with effect from the 10th of February 2019.
Can Westminster force Scotland to implement these Emergency Powers?
Fortunately for the people of Scotland, the act in its current form cannot be implemented on its behalf by ministers in Westminster as section 1 paragraph 4 of the act clearly states ” A Minister of the Crown, or, in relation to Scotland, the Scottish Ministers“, however, it is uncertain at the time of writing as to whether the Prime Minister would be able to amend this using some kind of emergency brexit legislation.
In closing, it is worth pointing out that in its current form, the Scottish Government could use the act to prevent its food, water, medicine, fuel and energy supplies from being forcibly transported south of the border, this would protect the people of Scotland from deprivation and starvation the likes of which we have often seen imposed on other Countries by the UK Government in the past.
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