An Institute for Government Freedom of Information request has found the key mechanism for driving ‘no deal’ Brexit preparation in Whitehall: the ‘EU Exit Inter-Ministerial Group’. Joe Owen explains how it works, and who is in it.
It was a mistake to set up DExEU – and its establishment caused the simmering resentment that erupted in David Davis’s resignation. Jill Rutter says the Cabinet Office should now be given responsibility for negotiations, so DExEU can get on with ensuring Brexit readiness.
With the Chequers deal, the Prime Minister seemed to have convinced her Cabinet to accept some cake was off the table. But even if she makes it through David Davis’ and Steve Baker’s subsequent resignations, she is far from making it through the political minefield of Brexit, says Jill Rutter.
Michel Barnier has set out the EU’s red lines in the Brexit negotiations on future policing and judicial arrangements, complaining of British intransigence. But his own position is just as inflexible, and the two sides are worryingly far apart, says Tim Durrant.
Brexit has prompted the first expansion of the civil service’s workforce for almost a decade, and billions of pounds of additional spending. But Lewis Lloyd says you would hardly know it, judging by the Government’s latest Single Departmental Plans.
David Davis has allegedly won a Whitehall battle over the level of ambition in the next phase of Brexit talks. But, Jill Rutter says, the UK needs workable propositions more than hundreds of more negotiators.
The demands of Brexit have turned several government departments – like Defra and DExEU – into recruitment hotspots. And there will be more to come, says Aron Cheung, as departments like the Home Office and HMRC prepare to operate in a new landscape.