With only a few months to go until Theresa May triggers Article 50, research by the Institute for Government finds there are clear signs of progress in preparations. The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) has established itself quickly, putting new teams in place and developing cross-government structures.

But we also found uncertainty in departments about what they are required to do before Article 50 is triggered, concerns about capacity and a lack of preparation for what life will be like outside the European Union. Some of the departments most affected will have to work out how to meet the demands imposed by Brexit with a shrinking budget.

The Government must:

  1. Provide more information on the process, timelines and expectations that departments need to meet by the time Article 50 is triggered.
  2. Decide how it will run negotiations.
  3. Ensure departments are doing sufficient planning, including how to realise the opportunities offered by Brexit.
  4. Ensure departments have sufficient staffing and money for both Brexit and existing commitments, or acknowledge that plans must be trimmed.