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Wed 12 August 2020
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Sam Bright reveals a new Home Office report that again exposes the eye-watering cost of Brexit

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The Home Office has been handed a £1.3 billion two-year budget to deal with the cost of transitioning to Brexit, Byline Times can reveal.

Home Secretary Priti Patel today released her department’s annual report and accounts for 2019/20, detailing the performance of the Home Office and its related spending. Within this document, a sizeable chunk of money is devoted to getting the UK ready for Brexit, putting into context the cost of this political experiment.

The Home Office was awarded £480 million for Brexit transition work in 2019/20, according to the report – supplemented by an additional £121.6 million for no-deal Brexit preparations and £4.7 million provided by other Government departments. This amounted to a total budget of £606.3 million for the year.

This is an eye-watering sum of money, yet this figure is set to increase yet again this year. Patel’s department has been allocated £695.2 million for “transition activity” in 2020/21, when the UK will formally leave the structures of the European Union.

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The Government is set to shell out £705 million to upgrade UK border infrastructure to cope with Brexit, and it appears much of this cost will be borne by the Home Office.

This year’s accounts reveal the department spent £235 million “strengthening border controls and security” in light of Brexit. Patel might be particularly concerned about warnings that the proposed border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic could be exploited by smugglers.

The Home Office also reveals it has forked out £11 million on “additional passport costs”, which presumably refers to the launch of the UK’s post-Brexit documents, patriotically manufactured in Poland.

£1.3 billion is an awful lot to spend on a project we were promised would cut red tape and save us money. It’s almost as though Brexiters weren’t telling the whole truth.


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