The government has announced more than £2 billion in additional funding across 25 government departments to help with Brexit planning. This brings the total amount provided by the government for EU exit preparations since 2016 to £4.2 billion.
The government has apparently been left with no choice but to step up no-deal Brexit contingency plans. There are now less than 100 days to go to the expected Brexit date of 29 March 2019 and the prospect of a no-deal exit appears to be increasing significantly.
We are told that the money will be used to support vital preparations including: getting new border and customs operations ready, gearing up UK trade policy with existing and new international partners, and taking back control of our waters.
Commenting on the announcement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:
‘The PM’s deal is the only way to deliver on the referendum while protecting jobs, businesses and prosperity. I’ve worked with departments so they have the resources to prepare as we leave the European Union, including our borders, trade policies and support for businesses. But a responsible government prepares for all contingencies and that is why we’re stepping up no deal planning.’
HMRC has been allocated £375m and will use this money to employ over 3,000 additional customer service and compliance staff in operational roles to handle increases in customs activity, ensuring trade continues to flow and revenue is protected. HMRC will also use its funding to deliver new technology and IT requirements at the border to ensure trade is as frictionless as possible.