THE Army could be brought in to ease the chaos caused by Christmas strikes, according to senior Tory Nadhim Zahawi.
Party Chairman Mr Zahawi said that troops could end up “driving ambulances” and manning the borders to prevent unions from bringing the country to a halt.
2Nadhim Zahawi said the Army could be brought in to break strikes in key sectors like the NHSHe told Sky News that soldiers could be deployed to provide essential services, as Brits brace for some form of strike action every day over the Christmas period.
Mr Zahawi also indicated that pharmacists could be called upon to break NHS strikes.
He said: “We have to be able to deliver safe levels of treatment and support to patients.
“We’ve got to try and minimise disruption.”
The government has previously confirmed that the Army, as well as some civil servants and volunteers, are being trained to support vital services.
This reportedly includes training on managing the borders at ports and airports.
A spokesperson for the government said that, while a decision has not yet been taken, troops are “part of the range of options available should strike action in these areas go ahead as planned”.
The statement added: “Multiple unions have taken the decision to strike over the coming weeks, leaving millions of people facing disruption over the Christmas period.
“Many unions are asking for uplifts in line with inflation or even more – despite comparable uplifts in the private sector averaging between four and six per cent so far this year.
“The government recognises these are very challenging economic times. That’s why it is focused on getting inflation under control as the best way to help everyone’s money go further and avoid soaring inflation rates being embedded in the UK economy.”
The spokesperson finished by calling on unions to call off “pre-emptive” strikes, saying: “There is still time.”
It comes as PM Rishi Sunak is considering new emergency powers to halt the winter of strikes.
The Sun Online revealed that No10 has told ministers to provide more options to disrupt unions’ co-ordinated bids to paralyse the UK this month and beyond.
Measures would add to legislation currently going through Parliament to ensure a minimum level of service on strike days in key industries, such as rail.
That package may include using agency workers to fill strikers’ crucial roles and making it easier for bosses to replace strikers permanently.
2Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi confirmed that troop deployments were a possibilityCredit: Sky News
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk