Martial law is on the cards to prevent civil disorder in case of a no-deal when Britain leaves the European Union on March 29. According to Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock, however, the government is not planning to use it.

“It remains on the statute book, but it isn’t the focus of our attention,” Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, officials have been discussing the practicalities of implementing the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which would allow the government to make any appropriate provisions to protect human life, health, safety and supplies.

The Sunday Times quoted a source as saying: “The overriding theme in all the no-deal planning is civil disobedience and the fear that it will lead to death in the event of food and medical shortages”.

According to Hancock, the pharmaceutical industry was doing everything it could to prevent shortages of medicines resulting from any delays at borders resulting from a no-deal Brexit.