Would the Army open fire on a one-off peaceful protest right in front of them? No.
If there had been weeks of demonstrations, rioting, violence of all kinds and the troops had had to do Aunt Sally impressions for most of it and suddenly a Yellow Card-compatible situation arose? They already have, mate.
Oh my god - the sheer lunacy on display there is stunning. Yet more reasons why Richard North is fundamentally a very dangerous person to write about defence.
Until recently I worked in the area of UK Ops - MOD policy on UK Ops is crystal clear and available in full on the internet. Put simply "We do not do Army on the streets putting down rioters". I can categorically assure the lunatic poster that we aren't buying any kit for internal security duties of this type - there is no role or requirement for us to do so.
Remove the tin foil hat and go and read some turgid doctrine (JDP2-02) - hopefully if you don't drift off, you'll realise that our involvement in the UK is limited to rescuing people and sending local authorities a large bill.
As much as I know this will be shouted down, I did see a rather large convoy of American-stylee riot vans driving down the M40. First there were about 20 in dark blue Police livery and then a further 20 in OG.
I tend to agree with Jim30 that this is a bit of a non story and current doctrine does limit UK forces involvement with civil matters but I would add a few points that perhaps are worth thinking about
When do politicians give a flying fcuk what current doctrine or policy says. Name me one defence review that has ever been fully implemented?
The Civil Contngencies Act 2004 Part 2 (Emergency Powers) which many of you will be familiar does give the government some very sweeping powers, perhaps worth explaining and I have emphasised some that are worth reading twice.
What are emergency powers?
Emergency powers allow the Government to make special temporary legislation (emergency regulations) as a last resort in the most serious of emergencies where existing legislation is insufficient to respond in the most effective way. Emergency regulations may make provision of any kind that could be made by an Act of Parliament or by exercise of the Royal Prerogative, so long as such action is needed urgently and is both necessary and proportionate in the circumstances.
They ensure the Government can act legally and accountably in situations where temporary new legal provision is required without the time for Parliament to provide it beforehand.
The Act states that emergency powers can only be used if an event or situation threatens: serious damage to human welfare in the UK, a devolved territory or region; serious damage to the environment of the UK, a devolved territory or region; or the security of the UK, from war or terrorism. They can be used if such a situation is occurring, has occurred or is about to occur.
The decision to use emergency powers, or not, is a matter for UK central government and the relevant Lead Government Department (LGD), subject to collective agreement.
How emergency powers are invoked?
Emergency regulations are made by Her Majesty by Order in Council on the advice of her ministers. If, for whatever reason, this is not possible without serious delay, a senior minister may make the regulations by order. The regulations must then be laid before Parliament as soon as it is reasonably practicable. Parliament must approve them within seven days of laying or they fall. They may stay in force for up to 30 days beginning on the day the order comes into force, but can be renewed for a further 30 days if it is deemed necessary.