Does Britain really have a Brexit plan?

November 16, 2016 5:42 pm

The Big Ben bell tower on the Houses of Parliament is visible through a shaped foil balloon as demonstrators protest during a “March for Europe” against the Brexit vote result earlier in the year, in London, Britain, September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

* Leaked memo casts doubt on Brexit plan

* Divisions in cabinet could delay clear negotiating position

* Downing Street has “wholeheartedly” rejected claims

The British government has no strategy in place for leaving the European Union, a new leaked memo has revealed.

The document, prepared by leading consultancy firm Deloitte and leaked by The Times, has also said that divisions in Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet could delay a clear negotiating position for six months.

Although the newspaper said the memorandum was commissioned by the government department that supports the prime minister and her cabinet, Downing Street on Tuesday “wholeheartedly” rejected the claims, saying the document was “unsolicited.”

As criticism mounted, Deloitte released a statement saying that the memo, entitled ‘Brexit Update’, was “not commissioned by the Cabinet Office” and it was “intended primarily for internal audiences.”

A mail from AMEinfo to the author of the memo, Keith Leslie, a partner at Deloitte, to confirm whether it was prepared for the government, did not earn any response at the time of writing this story.

Whitehall planning for ‘worst case’

Deloitte, which has closely worked with the government on many projects, has said in the document that Whitehall, a name by which the British central governmental administration is often called, is working on 500 Brexit-related projects and could need 30,000 extra staff to cope with the additional workload.

The memo also said that “every department has developed a ‘bottom-up’ plan of what the impact of Brexit could be – and its plan to cope with the ‘worst case’.

Meanwhile, a think tank has also come forward saying Brexit represented an “existential threat” to the operations of some Government departments.

The Institute for Government said the preparing for Brexit would be “unsustainable” for some departments unless Chancellor Philip Hammond uses the Autumn Statement next week to commit more resources, The Telegraph has reported.

A “secretive approach” at the top of Theresa May’s administration was causing “significant uncertainty” and preventing civil servants from planning ahead sufficiently, and the process appeared “chaotic and dysfunctional” to some outsiders, the IFG said.

 

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AMEinfo Staff
By AMEinfo Staff
AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.



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