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Montevideo, March 25th 2019 - 12:12 UTC

PM May: UK will spend whatever necessary to prepare for Brexit, including a no-deal scenario

Thursday, October 12th 2017 - 11:50 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Mrs May said UK was striving for a good deal with EU and rejected claims from a Labour MP that she was “running scared” of her backbenchers Mrs May said UK was striving for a good deal with EU and rejected claims from a Labour MP that she was “running scared” of her backbenchers

The British government will spend whatever is necessary to make sure the UK is ready for Brexit, Downing Street has said. A No 10 spokesman said £250m of new money had been allocated this year to prepare for leaving the EU, “including the possibility of a no-deal scenario.”

 Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Theresa May said “where money needs to be spent it will be spent”. Earlier, Chancellor Philip Hammond said funding for a no-deal plan would not happen “until the very last moment”.

He suggested it was not wise to spend money - which could alternatively go to the NHS or schools - at this stage on an outcome which may or may not happen, merely to “send a message” to the EU.

In response, several Tory MPs have criticized the Treasury, one accusing it of “incompetence” and another suggesting the EU would not listen to the UK unless it was sure it was seriously preparing for the possibility of leaving in March 2019 without a negotiated agreement.

Mrs. May announced the £250m Brexit contingency funding in response to a question from ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith, who sought assurances “all necessary monies” would be spent in case of a no-deal outcome.

“We are preparing for every eventuality,” she told MPs. “We are committing money to prepare for Brexit including a 'no deal' scenario.

”The Treasury has committed over £250m of new money to departments like DEFRA, the Home Office, HMRC and DfT in this financial year for Brexit preparations and in some cases, departments will need to spend money before the relevant legislation has gone through the House.“

Mrs May said the UK was striving for a good deal with the EU and rejected claims from a Labour MP that she was ”running scared“ of her backbenchers and ”ramping up“ talk about the odds of there being no deal.

Two hours earlier, the chancellor - who has been accused of being too pessimistic about Brexit - told the Treasury committee of MPs that he was ”committed“ to supporting departments prepare for Brexit but said it would be premature to spend money now on the assumption there would be no deal between the UK and EU.

Illustrating what he said was one worst case scenario for a ”no deal“, he said there could be no air travel taking place between the UK and the EU on Brexit day - 29 March 2019 - but added that he did not see that as likely to happen, even if the UK/EU talks failed to reach agreement.

The current state of Brexit negotiations were a ”cloud of uncertainty“ hanging over the UK economy, he said, which could only removed by progress and the EU agreeing to begin talks on its future relations with the UK.

One ex-minister, David Jones, has said billions should be set aside in November's Budget for a ”no deal“ scenario, arguing that if this did not happen it would be seen as a ”a sign of weakness” by EU leaders.

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • Clyde15

    Today's news...not enough progress made to move on to trade talks.

    The EU seem to want us to agree to their demands on payment of the “exit” fee, EU citizens rights protected by the ICJ and no border with Eire BEFORE they will open talks on trade.

    So they get everything THEY want and could then dictate trade terms to their advantage.

    Then any EU country could veto this if it felt like it.

    It seems they want to nail our hide to the wall !

    I am now of the opinion that I don't want anything to do with an organisation that behaves like this. Out, and the sooner the better.

    Oct 12th, 2017 - 12:49 pm +1
  • Voice

    We might as well embrace WTO tariffs...leave and pay them nothing...
    We will suffer, but they will too and the sooner they realise that the UK will cut its nose off to spite its face, the more realistic and beneficial a future relationship will be...

    I was pro-European, but like Clyde I am thinking..fcuk 'em...

    Oct 12th, 2017 - 01:59 pm 0
  • Lynn


    Do you really believe that your mangy, rat chewed, moth eaten Brit hide is worth nailing to the wall?

    Your post reminds me of the old joke in which a robber, having being confronted by the police, raises his pistol to his temple and shouts, “Get back or I'll shoot!”

    Oct 13th, 2017 - 08:23 am 0
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