More Evidence of the Government having No Plans and NO IDEA of what is happening as they Run the Clock down?
Around the 18th December 2018, the Department for Exiting the European Union announced that they had been allocated the staggering amount of £2 BILLION pounds, to prepare for a No-Deal Brexit Scenario. £2 Billion seems a lot of money to be spent in such a short amount of time so in my usual inquisitive style, I decided to contact the Department of Exiting the EU with a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA), so we could see if DExEU can give us answers on what this £2 Billion will be spent on or if they would prefer to keep everything a secret.
(All questions asked are at the bottom of the article)
I asked the DExEU (Department of Exiting the EU) 10 questions which all referred to the Department’s plans for what they plan to do with this £2 Billion, including some simple questions such as could they produce any plans for items they will be needing?, on what date was the £2 Billion was decided upon?, have Ration books been discussed? and would any of this money be spent on guns?
Today, the Governments DExEU has attempted to produce an answer to all 10 of these questions, although in a shocking dereliction of FOI law, and the DExEU moral duty to tell the country exactly what it is they are doing at this very anxious time, they produced this very weak answer.
I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’).
On question 1, delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the Government’s
questions 2 -10, I can confirm that the Department for Exiting the European
Union (DExEU) does not hold the budget, therefore no information is held.
You may wish to contact Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) FOI team at
As someone who has submitted quite a few Freedom of Information requests, I was prepared for a non-answer as is sadly the norm when dealing with the Conservative Government. I was not prepared for the level of obfuscation I received in this answer. Usually, when a department is attempting to avoid releasing sensitive information they will either claim that the data verges into “Sensitive information” and cannot be released, or that the request will take too long to answer and in turn cost too much to be answerable.
The answers that I received from the DExEU look very much like a last minute job, I make this claim as it does not appear that they even read all the questions. I will attempt to give some feedback on the non-answer we received from the Department, so, let’s break down the non-answers we received …
The first question which was asked, and in turn not answered, was the very simple question “Has ‘No Deal’ with the European Union already been decided on?” to which we have reviewed no answer. As is the norm for the current Tory Government, instead of answering a very simple question with what should be an instant “NO” , they decide to take us all for a ride and instead chosen answered a completely different question. While I directly asked a Yes/No question, DExEU has opted to use a Freedom of Information request to promote Theresa May’s failed “Deal”, the deal which has already been voted down by MP’s in the Commons. (Remember, this FOI was answered AFTER Theresa May’s deal has been voted down!).
Questions 2 – 10 all focused around what DExEU’s plans were in terms of a “No-deal” Brexit. As soon as the Government announced the massive amount of £2 Billion my imagination began to do backflips, as what in the grace of God do they honestly need all that money for? This got me thinking of worse case (Civil unrest/uprising/ Civil War) scenarios and items that a Government would need to have to be able to take control, and run the country.
At the Top of my no-deal question list was Ration Books, as we have already heard of items like Food and Medicines being stockpiled. If these essential items are being stockpiled the logical progression of events would be that those stockpiled goods would have to be rationed, so that supplies would persist through times of trouble, so I asked: “If Ration Books had been discussed?” … we got no answer to this. (Not yes or no!)
In a true worst case scenario, we may see some form of mass Civil unrest, so I wanted to find out if DExEU had discussed this outcome and planned for this, so I asked them if they may have already planned for this, I asked if they have planned to buy Guns and Armour for the police, to deal with this outcome. This question was another case of a very simple Yes/No answer. If the answer was No, you would expect any responsible department to promptly inform us this to avoid any inkling of the public thinking “Government are expecting Riots and Police are going to be armed!”. Sadly, DExEU is clearly very far from a “responsible department”, and rather than setting minds at rest, they have decided to avoid answering this question.
It would be very easy for me to go into every question and describe why avoiding to answer it could point to yet another Scary outcome we could face in the result of a “No-Deal” Brexit (Some Homework for the reader), but on reflection, it would seem like Theresa May and Stephen Barclay honestly think, that they will, by whatever means necessary, get her deal through the Commons and this seems to be the ONLY outcome the DExEU has planned for! DExEU seems to have no tangible plans for what will happen in the event of “No-Deal”, or what to do with the £2Billion which has been budgeted for No-Deal.
I have replied to DExEU for clarity, and answers. This is not over.
These are all the Questions which I asked I asked to DExEU
1. Has ‘No Deal’ with the European Union already been decided on , as the UK Governments
2. Could your department give produce plans for anything that they have already decided
they need to buy with the £2 billion no deal budget?
3. On what date, was the £2 billion no deal budget decided upon? (and if possible, provide
evidence from the meeting)
4. Has money been assigned to buy Guns or weapons, from the £2 billion no deal budget?
5. Do the Department of Exiting the EU think that the country will need any Guns of Weapons
in the case of a No Deal Brexit?
6. Has money been assigned to buy police riot armour, from the £2 billion no deal budget?
7. Has Will money be assigned to cover the costs of building holding centres, or anything
similar for illegal immigrants in the UK from the £2 billion no deal budget?
8. Have Ration books for food items been discusses?
9. Are costs for the printing, production and distribution of ration books (or anything similar),
within the £2 Billion No deal Budget?
10. Does the Department of Exiting the EU expect to spend all of its £2 Billion Budget, (which
remember, is or No-Deal ‘preparation’, in the 3 months running up to March 29th 2019?