Brexit preparations not happening quickly enough

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Preparations for leaving the European Union on 31st October are “not happening quickly enough”, a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has warned.

And it called on the government to ensure that departments urgently step up their preparations on the assumption that the UK could be leaving on 31st October and be ready to implement them.

The report was also critical of the Department for Transport’s action in procuring ferry freight capacity ahead of the original Brexit date in March, saying it was rushed and risky according to MPs – and cost taxpayers £85 million.

Meg Hillier MP, committee chair, said: “In just four months’ time, on 31 October, the UK is expected to leave the EU yet momentum appears to have slowed in Whitehall. Departments must urgently step up their preparations and ensure that the country is ready.

“The taxpayer has been landed with a £85m bill with very little to show for it following the rushed procurement of ferry freight capacity. This £33m Eurotunnel settlement comes on top of the money paid to cancel the ill-fated ferries deal.

“Public benefits from the settlement with Eurotunnel amount to little more than window dressing. The Department needs to keep a close eye and ensure that Eurotunnel deliver what is promised.”

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