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Consultancy firms pocket £1.6m in a month to help government prepare for Brexit

2 min read

Consultancy firms pocketed £1.6m of taxpayers' money in a single month from government contracts to help with Brexit preparations, it has emerged.

New figures released by the Cabinet Office revealed the enormous sum was spent helping civil servants co-ordinate arrangements for the UK’s exit from the EU.

Two American firms, Boston Consulting and Bain & Company, trousered £750,000 over three separate payments while professional services firms EY and Deloitte raked in £178,312 and £486,473 respectively. British firm PA Consulting, which specialises in public service IT work, received £220,000 for its work.

The Cabinet Office refused to be drawn on the exact nature of the work carried out, but the cash is believed to have been spent on new systems to be used in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

They say the payments cover work done over more than a one-month period but refused to be drawn on the total value of the contracts.

“The contracts cover skills that are needed on EU exit preparation and implementation to allow the widest scope for departments to secure the capability they need, including commercial, operational, programme and project management,” a spokesperson for the department said.

The spending is the latest no-deal preparation taken by the Cabinet Office after it established its “exit capability team” earlier this year. The group are believed to be coordinating border contingency planning and helping create a database for logging shipments of live animals and animal products in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

One former minister told The Times: “Their job is to identify the riskiest projects and then do ‘deep dives’ to make sure that the things departments say are happening really are.”

According to news website Buzzfeed the Government have signed up to more than a dozen contracts worth around £40m to help get ready for Brexit, with the bulk of the cash being spent on a new ‘settled status’ scheme for EU citizens living in the UK.

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