Boris Johnson plans bailout fund for businesses at risk of post-Brexit collapse

Posted On: 
10th August 2019

Boris Johnson's Cabinet are preparing a bailout fund to prop up businesses at risk of collapse in a no-deal scenario amid fears of a recession.

The Prime Minister’s cabinet are preparing a business bailout fund
Credit: 
PA Images

Michael Gove, who is leading no-deal planning, has confirmed ministers are working on a special package, called ‘Operation Kingfisher’ to help vulnerable businesses.

British employers who are most at risk have been catalogued on a secret government list, The Times newspaper reports.

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Mr Gove discussed Operation Kingfisher publicly for the first time yesterady during a visit to Northern Ireland.

“One of the things we’re doing across government is developing a package called Operation Kingfisher," he said.

"It will be there so any businesses that may be temporarily affected by changes of circumstances that are related to Brexit can be supported... so that fundamentally viable businesses that may have the occasional cash flow or other issue can be supported.

"It is also the case that there will be a number of businesses that will see opportunities, both in the run up to, and immediately after, October 31 as well.

"While it’s absolutely right the Government looks at those who may experience some bumps in the road initially, and see how we can help them through it, it’s also my aim to make sure that we can maximise the opportunities for every sector of the economy as well.”

The construction and manufacturing sectors are expected to be hardest hit if the UK leave the EU without a deal.

The revelation of the contingency fund came as the pound fell to its lowest level against the euro for a decade and Mr Johnson wrote to all civil servants yesterday, ordering them to make preparing for a no-deal Brexit their “top priority”. 

But Chancellor Sajid Javid downplayed the suggestion Britain was at risk of a recession under a no-deal Brexit.

He told Sky News: “We will be ready for it, we will get through it, we will come out stronger and even more resilient.”

Meanwhile Trasnport Minister George Freeman said that a no-deal Brexit would be an “absolute disaster” and could lead to the Conservatives being out of power for 20 years.