Chancellor announces extra funding for no-deal Brexit
The money available to help prepare for a no-deal Brexit is set to be doubled, the government has announced.
£2.1 billion in extra funding has been signed off by the new chancellor to hire more border force officers and upgrade transport infrastructure at ports.
Money has also been made available to ensure the continued supply of medicines in the event of a no-deal scenario.
Under the plans, government departments will be able to bid for extra cash to help prepare for a no-deal if they need it.
The UK is currently set to leave the European Union by 31 October after an extension to the deadline in April.
The prime minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK will be leaving on this date “do or die”, adding that he hopes the government can negotiate a new deal in the next 91 days.
The shadow chancellor John McDonnell immediately slammed the plans as a waste of taxpayers’ cash and said the money could have been spent on schools and hospitals.
But chancellor Sajid Javid said it's vital the country steps up planning to ensure it's ready.
Announcing the plans, Javid added: "We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop, but if we can't get a good deal, we'll have to leave without one.”
Mr Johnson has called for the Northern Irish backstop to be scrapped as a precondition to recommencing talks with Brussels, but the EU has insisted that the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May cannot be reopened.
Meanwhile, the prime minister has returned to London today after a whistlestop tour of UK capitals. He will be charing the cabinet’s EU exit strategy committee made up of senior ministers.