- British PM says no-deal plans must continue
- Rumor had it the government was shelving plans
Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the preparations for a no-deal Brexit outcome must continue despite the deadline extension secured between the UK and the European Union. The announcement comes days after criticism following reports that officials were shelving no-deal plans after the EU agreed to delay the UK’s exit from EU until October 31, 2019.
No-Deal Outcome Must Continue
According to The Guardian, the Prime Minister emailed all officials to inform them that plans for Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement “must continue” even though with a “sensibly adjusted” timescale signed off by leading civil servants. The Guardian and other leading UK media outlets quoted May’s email stating:
“On preparations specifically for leaving the EU without a deal, you will rightly be guided by the cabinet secretary and by your own permanent secretaries about continued planning. Necessary preparations for a no-deal outcome must continue, though with sensibly adjusted timescales given the extension we have agreed.”
The Prime Minister’s correspondence follows a report last Friday, April 12, 2019, by Sky News that the government was shelving no-deal contingency plans with immediate effect following the latest Brexit delay.
The Prime Minister wrote to thank the civil servants for their hard work on Brexit preparations and expressed optimism they would manage to “take advantage of a well-deserved break over the Easter Holiday.”
Swift Backlash from MPs
After triggering Article 50 some two years ago, the government moved at least 16,000 civil servants to departments that were most likely going to be affected if the UK left the European Union minus a deal.
The move to de-prioritize no-deal planning is what led to a swift backlash from MPs who said the government was wasting public money. However, in her message to the civil servants, Theresa May has reiterated that planning will continue, clarifying that senior Mandarins in the different departments and UK’s top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill would ensure make the call on which specific parts it can be dropped. Mrs. May added:
“On preparations specifically for leaving the EU without a deal, you will rightly be guided by the Cabinet Secretary and by your own Permanent Secretaries about continued planning.”
UK’s besieged Premier whose no-deal Brexit has been rejected a record three times by MPs used her latest message to clarify that she was going to do everything she could to get an agreement through parliament so the country could leave the European Union as soon as possible. Brussels recently handed her an article 50 extension that runs until October 31, 2019, in case no agreement is passed.