The measures, implemented “to protect our rights as an independent coastal state” include “numerous patrol boats in military and marine organizations that are used to provide physical presence, deterrence and inspection capabilities,” the ministry said in a statement.
Four offshore patrol vessels “will be available to patrol UK waters to assist other government departments when necessary,” the ministry said.
The move comes as Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union enter a crucial 48-hour period, with both sides expressing skepticism about reaching a deal before Sunday’s deadline.
“The Defense Ministry has done extensive planning and preparation to ensure Defense is ready for a variety of scenarios at the end of the Transition Period,” a UK Defense Ministry spokesman said on Saturday.
“This preparation includes a reserve package of 14,000 people to ensure that we are ready to support other government departments and authorities during the winter period, including the EU transition, COVID-19 and possible severe weather events,” the spokesperson said.
Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to protect UK waters from “illegal French fishing” in the event of a no-deal Berxit.
“In the event that no deal is reached with the EU on Sunday, we must receive absolute assurance from Boris Johnson that British naval forces will be deployed from 1 January to prevent illegal French fishing in our waters,” Kawczynski said in a tweet on Friday.
Johnson said Friday that he was hopeful of reaching an agreement, but that the scenario was becoming increasingly unlikely.
“We are hopeful that progress can be made but I must tell you that from where I am now here in Blyth it seems very, very likely that we will have to find a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK. We could do exactly what we want as of January 1, “he said.
“Obviously it would be different from what we set out to achieve, but I have no doubt that this country can prepare and come out in terms of world trade.”