Almost £700 million has been invested in preparing for Brexit – including £60 million at the borders – following my campaign.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said her department was recruiting extra border officers and "continues to make preparations for a range of possible outcomes" from negotiations with the EU. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond insisted the Government is "continuing with detailed preparations for all possible March 2019 scenarios". He said the Treasury had allocated nearly £700 million for "preparation activity".
The statements came in response to my questions in the House of Commons over Monday (February 26) and Tuesday (February 27). It is incredibly important that the Government prepares for every eventuality. Despite the scaremongering from some quarters, we can be ready on day one at the Dover frontline, deal or no deal. I have explained exactly how in a detailed report which I sent to Ministers. But we need to invest now. It would send a message to the EU and be what I call 'no regrets spending' – because we need to strengthen our border anyway.
Asked what steps her department has taken to prepare for leaving the EU, Caroline Nokes said: "We are already recruiting additional staff in both Border Force and across the wider UKVI department to make sure we have the preparations underway for leaving the EU.
"We are making preparations for every eventuality. The Home Office has already invested £60 million in 2017/18. We will continue to review the funding position as negotiations continue and details of the final agreement become clearer.
"As he might expect, we are in continuing discussions with Her Majesty's Treasury."
Asked what preparations the Treasury has been making, Philip Hammond said: "The Government is continuing with detailed preparations for all possible March 2019 scenarios and this includes ensuring that departments have adequate resources to effectively prepare for the EU exit.
"To date the Treasury has allocated departments nearly £700 million for preparation activity and we are currently in the process of allocating the 2018/19 funding from the additional £3 billion over two years that I announced at the Autumn Budget 2017."
I have campaigned relentlessly for the Government to invest in Brexit border preparations following the EU referendum result – asking the Prime Minister in the Commons, meeting Ministers at the Port of Dover and organising roundtable discussions with industry experts.
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