MEMBERS of a special police unit set up to quell civil disorder in a No-Deal Brexit will be deployed to help keep order when four loyalist organisations march through Glasgow today.

The 300-strong team is drawn from the ranks of Police Scotland’s public order officers who have specialist training such as in crowd control and cordoning techniques.

It was first established in February ahead of the first Brexit deadline on 29 March but disbanded following the Article 50 extension. The unit was then reassembled last month as the risk of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal increased again.

The National:

David Hamilton, vice-chair of the Scottish Police Federation, confirmed that members of the specialist No-Deal Brexit unit were being deployed in Glasgow today to help tackle any disorder.

He added: “Elements of the Force Reserve will definitely be there tomorrow as part of the public order policing model.”

Hamilton said members of the unit were deployed after trouble broke out at parades in Govan in August.

He said: “For Brexit the Force Reserve has been stood up to react to any issues. It is just as well as we saw in Govan the police managed to mobilise the right officers with the right equipment very quickly and deal with that.”

Today’s marches were given the go-ahead by Glasgow City Council officials following the advice of the police and after hundreds of people demonstrated against them being banned.

The Scottish Protestants Against Discrimination (SPAD) group was unhappy after the council’s Public Processions Committee previously banned six parades by loyalists and republicans amid fears of sectarian disorder. On Thursday the council announced the four parades can take place today despite flare-ups in recent weeks.

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Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “Our view is that if the processions were banned, some form of protest and disorder could still take place and the policing profile for Saturday would therefore be similar. If the processions go ahead it would allow us to continue to engage with known organisers to ensure balanced rights were upheld and to police the events under the conditions agreed by the council.”

He added: “I need to appeal to people who plan on taking part in processions or counter-protests to do so peacefully ... The decision to amend the route or the timing, or to prohibit any procession, is a matter for the relevant local authority.”

During the first weekend in September, 11 people were arrested as two Republican marches were held in Glasgow city centre, with a police officer injured by a firework thrown by loyalist protesters.

READ MORE: SNP's John Mason in bids to stop violence of sectarian marches

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The council has been placed in an impossible position in relation to the parade in Govan. Police Scotland has said that, should the procession not go ahead, many of the 800 people due to take part will react angrily – which could lead to violence and a significant impact on the local community. We deeply regret that the wider community in Govan will be subject to this disruption. However, police have made it absolutely clear that this could be made worse if these people are not allowed to march.”