Shadow Treasury minister asks questions on £2.1bn no deal Brexit spend

7 Aug 19

Chief secretary to the Treasury has been urged to give greater detail on the government’s £2.1bn no deal Brexit spending pledge. 

Sunak’s opposite number, Peter Dowd, has written to the former local government minister asking him to clarify whether the £2.1bn includes money that was already announced by former chancellor Philip Hammond. 

Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury cited Sunak’s interview on the Today Programme last Thursday in which he said: “A lot of the money that we’re spending is going to go on things that we would need to spend anyway.” 

Dowd said: “With that in mind, can you clarify whether and how much of this additional funding includes money that has already been allocated and announced by the previous chancellor of the exchequer.” 

Since 2016, Hammond had allocated £4.2bn for Brexit preparations

He also questioned Sunak’s claims on whether recruitment was under way for 500 extra border force officers and HMRC staff to prepare for no deal Brexit. 

Dowd noted that Sunak had said only 250 extra officers will be ready by October 31 – the UK’s departure date – with another 250 to come later.

Talking about the letter Dowd said: “When it comes to no deal Brexit spending, the chief secretary has offered little more than subterfuge. 

“He is unable to confirm the exact number of HMRC staff and border force officers that are currently being hired to prepare for a no deal Brexit and refuses to confirm whether this additional funding includes money already allocated and announced by the previous chancellor.” 

The letter comes after health experts claimed that a recent £1.8bn package for the NHS was not ‘new money’, despite government claims

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