Ministers get right to spend
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