26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: No-deal Brexit ‘top priority for PS’

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United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (pictured) has ordered Public Servants to “urgently and rapidly” ramp up preparations for leaving the European Union without a deal (Brexit) on 31 October.

He said preparing for a no-deal Brexit would now be his top priority.

In a letter to all Whitehall staff he said there was a need restore trust in the United Kingdom’s democracy, and fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people, by coming out of the European Union on 31 October.

“We will be leaving on this date, whatever the circumstances. I would very much prefer to leave with a deal…but I recognise this may not happen,” Mr Johnson wrote.

The letter follows reports that his senior adviser, Edward Lister, had cancelled all leave for top Government advisers until after the deadline.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that around 2,000 Public Servants will be shuttled between Departments as part of the preparations.

Plans developed by Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove involve moving staff around to boost capacity at the Department for Transport, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Exiting the European Union and HM Revenue and Customs.

Mr Gove said the Government was operating on the assumption that the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We are delivering this Government’s commitment to leave the EU on 31 October, and are redeploying Civil Servants to ensure we have the right people and skills in place to meet high-priority EU exit roles.”

London, 11 August, 2019

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