Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.50 6 Mar 2020


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The British government spent at least £4.4 billion (€5 billion) on Brexit preparations, according to new figures.

That money had been spent by Brexit day on January 31st.

Another £2bn (€2.3bn) had also been made available for Brexit, but spending was scaled down after it became clear an agreement with the EU would be reached.

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The figures - released by spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) - show £1.9bn (€2.18bn) of the money was spent on staff costs.

At the peak of the process in October 2019, a total of 22,000 staff were working on the UK's exit from the bloc.

More than 1,500 of those were working on preparations for a potential no-deal Brexit.

Nearly £300m (€344m) was spent on 'expertise and external advice', while £1.5bn (€1.7bn) was spent on new technology and systems.

Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, explained: “In preparing for EU Exit, [UK] government departments planned for multiple potential outcomes, with shifting timetables and uncertainty.

"This report provides, for the first time, a clear picture of how much government has spent and what that money has been spent on.

“Producing this report has highlighted limitations in how government monitored spending on EU Exit specifically, and cross-government programmes more generally."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

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