UK’s Top Civil Servant Says Country in ‘Good Shape’ for No Deal Brexit

Brexit
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Britain’s top civil servant has said that the country is in “pretty good shape” for a no deal Brexit, just months after making a dire prediction about Britain’s future if a deal was not agreed.

Speaking at an event for the Institute for Government on Thursday, Sir Mark Sedwill said: “We did a lot of preparation for no-deal in the run-up to the March/April deadline and of course we continue to try and keep those programmes in the best possible shape.”

He added: “A lot of this depends on choices made by the private sector and by third parties and will continue to do that work.”

His comments represent a u-turn in outlook as just months ago Sir Mark had said a no-deal Brexit would result in a 10 per cent rise in food prices, an inability of the police to keep people safe, and a recession.

Mr Sedwill is not the first to suggest that strong preparations have been made, with the Bank of England stating in March that they believed eight out of 10 businesses in the UK were prepared for a no deal Brexit scenario.

In addition, the Port of Calais’ President Chairman Jean-Marc Puissesseau said “there will not be more delays” as they had spent 12 months preparing for a no deal Brexit scenario.

The possibility of a no-deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely as the frontrunners for the Conservative leadership, who will also take over as the next prime minister, have all refused to rule out a no deal scenario.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, the current leader of the pack and figurehead of the Brexit campaign, said that although he was not aiming for a no deal scenario, he would not take the option off the table as a vital negotiating tool.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove, the current environment secretary, said that if he had to choose between no deal and no Brexit, he would choose no deal.

Some candidates, including former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, have even spoken about the possibility of shutting parliament (known as proroguing) in the build-up to Brexit in order to ensure that the UK does indeed leave on the 31st of October as planned.

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