UK to spend extra £2.1 billion on no-deal Brexit preparations

Britain is reportedly preparing to spending an extra £2.1 billion in the event of a no-deal Brexit in order to make sure the country is ready to leave the European Union with or without a divorce deal at the end of October. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took power last week, has pledged to leave the trading bloc without an agreement in three months unless the EU agrees to renegotiate the deal agreed by his predecessor Theresa May. 

Ministers have warned that one of the most hotly contested elements of the divorce agreement - the Irish border backstop - will have to be struck out if there is to be a deal, something the EU has repeatedly said it won’t agree to. 

In his first major policy announcement, new finance minister Sajid Javid said the extra money will fund a nationwide advertising campaign, ensure the supply of vital medicines, help Britons living abroad, and improve infrastructure around ports. 

“With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready,” the minister said. “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.” 

Taking the UK out of the bloc without a deal means there would be no formal transition arrangement to cover everything from post-Brexit pet passports to customs arrangements on the Northern Irish border. 

Many pundits are suggesting a no-deal Brexit would send shock waves through the world economy, tip Britain into a recession, roil financial markets and weaken London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial centre. 

Supporters of Brexit say that while there would be some short-term difficulties, the disruption of a no-deal Brexit has been overplayed and that in the long-term, the UK will thrive outside of the EU. 

Read also: Dominic Raab: UK "turbo-charging" no-deal Brexit preparations

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