Whitehall figures have expressed frustrations after being asked by the Government’s Brexit department to explain how leaving the EU will impact their staff numbers, budgets and resourcing
According to the Financial Times, David Davis’s Department for Exiting the EU has sent out a commission to departmental permanent secretaries asking them to draw up plans for 2019, but before any Brexit deal has been agreed.
A Whitehall figure told the paper: “At the moment, departments are writing up their core assessments on how Brexit might affect their operations after we leave. But it is all proving chaotic because none of us actually knows what kind of deal the government is aiming at.”
The concerns of civil servants have been echoed by think-tank the Institute for Government, which says departments are feeling “uncertainty and concern” without a firm idea of a Brexit deal.
IFG researcher Joe Owen said calls from Whitehall departments for more detail were rarely being met.
Owen said: “Officials in Dexeu believe there is a careful balancing act between maintaining the privacy the government believes is required for the purposes of negotiations, and providing departments with the information they need be able to plan and prioritise effectively. But unless Dexeu reveals more about what the prime minister wants, departments will find it very hard to plan.”