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The Queen has a ‘secret’ evacuation plan if there’s no-deal Brexit riots

Click to play video: 'The Queen to be evacuated in case of Brexit unrest: reports' The Queen to be evacuated in case of Brexit unrest: reports
WATCH: The Queen to be evacuated in case of Brexit unrest – Feb 3, 2019

Should riots occur after a no-deal Brexit, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will be evacuated from London, the Times reports.

The British outlet says that “secret plans” are being drawn up by parliament that will ensure Queen Elizabeth and other senior royals will be safely moved out of Buckingham Palace and taken to an undisclosed location.

“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,” a cabinet source told the Times.

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An unnamed source told the paper that the royal evacuation plans had been “dusted off” for the sake of “sensible planning.”

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“The decision to evacuate members of the Royal Family is based on whether or not their safety is compromised,” the source said. “But right now, we have no concern about their safety.”

The risk of political unrest continues to rise as there are less than two months until Britain is expected to leave the European Union. As the deadline of March 29 approaches, there are growing concerns over the risk of a disorderly “no-deal” exit.

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Click to play video: 'UK PM Theresa May set to visit Northern Ireland as Irish backstop continues to be at forefront of Brexit unrest' UK PM Theresa May set to visit Northern Ireland as Irish backstop continues to be at forefront of Brexit unrest
UK PM Theresa May set to visit Northern Ireland as Irish backstop continues to be at forefront of Brexit unrest – Feb 4, 2019

The country has been preparing for worst-case scenarios and potential riots in the case that no deal is reached. There have been reports of British citizens stockpiling food, medicine and other items.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would seek a “pragmatic solution” to a parliamentary impasse over the terms on which Britain leaves the European Union when she tries to reopen talks with Brussels.

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Members of parliament, who last month rejected May’s Brexit deal with the EU, have instructed her to return to Brussels to renegotiate the arrangements for Northern Ireland.

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The issue that has brought most opposition from lawmakers in her Conservative Party is the post-Brexit border between the United Kingdom and Ireland, but May, writing in the Telegraph newspaper, shed little light on how she intended to resolve it.

While the Queen is expected to remain politically neutral and not comment on government affairs, there are concerns that she could become the target of public anger, the Times reports.

Last month in a speech, the Queen asked people to seek “common ground” and urged citizens to never lose sight “of the bigger picture” — a move many Brits interpreted as a reference to the upset around Brexit.

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Click to play video: 'The royal family follows some peculiar rules' The royal family follows some peculiar rules
The royal family follows some peculiar rules – Jan 22, 2019

A senior government source told the Times that “it would be irresponsible if we didn’t consider every eventuality in the event of a no-deal Brexit — no matter how unlikely — and of course, that would include the security of the Royal Family.”

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The source added that the emergency plans were reviewed as there’s concern that the Queen is being “dangerously” politicized and dragged into the Brexit debate.

Royal officials refused to comment on the Queen’s evacuation plan.

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The evacuation plans were originally code-named Operation Candid and were created in the case of the Soviet Union launching a nuclear attack. If that happened, the Queen was to be taken to sea on a yacht.

The Times notes that even though there are exit plans, it is not certain that the Queen would even leave London should Brexit riots occur, pointing out that the Royals stayed during the Second World War.

Laura.Hensley@globalnews.ca

With files from Reuters

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