Min­is­ters get right to spend

Western Mail - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TERS are to be al­lowed to spend money on prepa­ra­tions for Brexit with­out wait­ing for par­lia­men­tary ap­proval, it has been an­nounced.

The move comes after the sur­prise rev­e­la­tion by the Prime Min­is­ter and Chan­cel­lor on Wed­nes­day that £250m had been given to four White­hall de­part­ments from Trea­sury re­serves to spend on Brexit, with de­tails to be spelt out in next month’s Bud­get.

In a state­ment to the House of Com­mons, Chief Sec­re­tary to the Trea­sury Liz Truss said that a pro­ce­dure known as a “tech­ni­cal di­rec­tion” was be­ing used to en­sure that es­sen­tial prepa­ra­tions were not de­layed by the nor­mal re­quire­ment for all spend­ing to be au­tho­rised by leg­is­la­tion, as set out in a Trea­sury rule­book called Man­ag­ing Public Money.

“It is im­por­tant that de­part­ments can start spend­ing to pre­pare for Brexit when they need to do so,” said Ms Truss. “Man­ag­ing Public Money re­quires that ex­pen­di­ture on new ser­vices must rest on spe­cific leg­is­la­tion. How­ever, de­lay­ing spend un­til leg­is­la­tion has reached Royal As­sent could jeop­ar­dise readi­ness for Brexit.”

> Anna Soubry

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