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Britain’s $7.6 billion no-deal Brexit spending spree

August 1, 2019 at 1:19pm
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Britain is doubling spending on preparations for a no-deal Brexit this year as Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets his sights on leaving the European Union with or without a divorce deal at the end of October.

Johnson’s finance minister Sajid Javid has set aside an extra 2.1 billion pounds of new spending to stockpile medicines, hire more border officials and fund one of the biggest peacetime advertising campaigns in British history.

The opposition Labour Party said the government was wasting money, but the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said most of the spending would be needed anyway to adjust for leaving the EU.

The spending announced this week means the government has in total allocated 6.3 billion pounds to prepare for a no-deal exit.

Here is a breakdown of what the newly allocated money will be spent on:

MEDICINE – The government has announced it will spend an extra 434 million pounds to help ensure the supply of vital medicines and medical products, including extra freight capacity, warehousing and stockpiling.

ADVERTISING BLITZ – To get people and businesses ready for a no-deal Brexit, 138 million pounds will be spent on one of the biggest peacetime advertising campaigns and provide extra consular support for citizens living overseas.

BREXIT BORDER – The government will spend an extra 344 million pounds to build new border and customs operations. This will include hiring an extra 500 border force officers and doubling the support for customs agents to help companies fill in customs declarations.

UNITED KINGDOM – The government will also make a further 1 billion pounds available for government departments and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ON TOP OF – The government has previously said it would spend 4.2 billion pounds and thousands of staff have been assigned to work on no deal preparations.

Of that 4.2 billion pounds:

The interior ministry, which oversees the immigration system, had been allocated 935 million pounds to prepare for no deal, according to a document published by the finance ministry in June.

The environment ministry was allocated 787.5 million pounds and the department for revenue and customs was given 676.7 million pounds.

(Reuters)