UK Pre­par­ing For No Deal


LON­DON (Reuters) - Bri­tain is plan­ning for all pos­si­ble Brexit out­comes, in­clud­ing a ‘no deal’ sce­nario, but will not give gov­ern­ment de­part­ments money to spend on con­tin­gency ar­range­ments yet, chan­cel­lor of the ex­che­quer Philip Ham­mond said.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Euro­pean Union on an exit deal and a fu­ture re­la­tion­ship have made slow progress ahead of a March 2019 dead­line for leav­ing, draw­ing calls from some law­mak­ers for Bri­tain to walk away from the talks and start plan­ning for a clean break with the bloc.

“I am clear that we have to be pre­pared for a no deal sce­nario un­less and un­til we have clear ev­i­dence that that is not where we will end up,” Ham­mond told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

But Ham­mond re­jected the idea that Bri­tain should be­gin putting firm con­tin­gency ar­range­ments in place, in­clud­ing a sug­ges­tion that it should start spend­ing money on beef­ing up bor­der and cus­toms ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“What I am not propos­ing to do is to al­lo­cate funds to de­part­ments in ad­vance of the need to spend,” Ham­mond said. “I don’t be­lieve we should be in the busi­ness of mak­ing po­ten­tially nu­ga­tory ex­pen­di­ture un­til the very last mo­ment when we need to do so.”

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