UK government halts no-deal Brexit contingency plans

Reuters
London, UK Published: Apr 13, 2019, 11:13 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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The contingency operations have impacted nearly all departments in the civil service and elsewhere in the public sector including traffic, hospitals and schools

The UK government decided to put on hold all emergency planning for a no-deal Brexit following the agreement by European Union (EU) leaders to extend the withdrawal process to October 31 despite committing 1.5 billion pounds to preparations.

The Guardian reported Friday the British government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit. 

The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits.

The contingency operations have impacted nearly all departments in the civil service and elsewhere in the public sector including traffic, hospitals and schools.

The UK government has spent 1.5 billion pounds on plans to mitigate the effects of the UK crashing out of the EU without an agreement, and thousands of civil servants were assigned to the project. But the government has relaxed its contingency plans after EU leaders on Thursday agreed to postpone the Brexit deadline to Oct. 31, ending the possibility of a no-deal Brexit on April 12.

The new deadline hands Prime Minister Theresa May extra time to try to get her original deal passed through parliament - once again or to make amendments to the deal if it fails to pass, plunging the country into further uncertainty.

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