LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to all government employees on Friday to tell them that preparing for a no-deal exit from the European Union is his and their top priority, according to a copy of the email seen by Reuters.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Fusion Energy Research Centre at the Fulham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, Britain August 8, 2019. Julian Simmonds/Pool via REUTERS
Johnson has promised voters Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 with or without an exit deal, demanding that Brussels drop parts of the existing proposed deal relating to the Irish border and negotiate a fresh exit arrangement.
But the EU is adamant that the legal terms of the deal cannot be rewritten, raising expectations among politicians and financial markets that Britain is headed for an unmanaged divorce from the bloc in less than three months’ time.
“I would very much prefer to leave with a deal – one that must abolish the anti-democratic Irish backstop, which has unacceptable consequences for our country,” Johnson said in the email.
“But I recognise this may not happen. That is why preparing urgently and rapidly for the possibility of an exit without a deal will be my top priority, and it will be the top priority for the Civil Service too.”
Previously, pro-Brexit campaigners have criticised the ranks of Britain’s civil service, which adopts a politically neutral stance while working to enact government policy, saying they were biased towa