The funding to prepare the government of the United Kingdom for a no-deal Brexit scenario as it is set to exits the European Union in 2019 has been given an extra £500 million, taking the total amount that is allocated to aid the departments with the planning to more than £4 million.
Philip Hammond, the British Chancellor, had already allocated £2.2 billion to departments for the preparations for Brexit in the Autumn Statement that was released last year, with another £1.5 billion set to be allocated in 2019 to 2020. However, the latter sum was increased today to £2 billion.
The United Kingdom is set to exit the European Union on the 29th of March 2019, with tensions running high during the previous months as the government strives to secure a deal with its European counterparts surrounding its exit.
In an interview with the BBC Yesterday, Hammond disclosed that the Budget was built on the assumption that there will be a Brexit deal in place. However, once necessary, he has retained some borrowing headroom to make sure that the government has the fiscal firepower required to revisit the plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Also, the Spring Statement could be enhanced to a full budget.
The director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Stephen Martin, remarked: “For all of the individual positive measures… this was a Budget that pulled its punches.”.
Some business leaders lamented the lack of information regarding the Brexit preparations for businesses that are outside of the public sector.
Martin added: “Going into this Budget, IoD members urged the Chancellor to prioritise help for Brexit preparations. It is not enough simply to announce a potential ‘no-deal Brexit budget’, businesses need to get ready now.”
He continued: “While we hope the Chancellor’s confidence that there will be Brexit deal is well-placed, firms have to look at all possible scenarios and will be deeply disappointed to see no funds have been allocated to helping them map out potential outcomes.”