UK business department says a quarter of its staff are working on Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Around a quarter of staff at Britain’s business department are working on the country’s exit from the European Union, the department said in response to a Freedom of Information request.

FILE PHOTO: An anti-Brexit protester holds a placard outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

More than three years after Britons voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum, huge amounts of government time and money are being devoted to the country’s preparations to leave the bloc, its most significant policy shift in decades.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to deliver Britain’s departure on Oct. 31, with or without a deal, and his government has ramped up preparations for a no-deal departure.

If and when Britain’s exit happens remains uncertain however, after parliament passed a law which would force Johnson to seek a delay if there is no exit deal in place.

Under the Freedom of Information law, Reuters asked several key government departments, including the finance ministry, interior ministry and revenue and customs ministry, how many of their staff were working on preparations for a no-deal exit.

Most responded either to say the cost of providing such information would be greater than the limit provided for under the law, or that they did


 »