- Boris Johnson’s government is set to spend up to £10 million on a no-deal Brexit information campaign.
- Johnson is reportedly planning to reach millions of British households with leaflets, TV ads, and a website.
- The government is “working on the assumption” of the UK leaving without a deal in October, according to senior minister Michael Gove.
- Anti-Brexit campaigners condemned the “colossal waste of money.”
- Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing to spend up to £10 million on television advertisements and leaflets informing the British public on what leaving the European Union without a deal in October would entail.
Johnson is planning to send leaflets to 27 million households across the United Kingdom, The Sun reports.
His new-look government is also preparing TV ads and a website explaining how a no-deal Brexit would impact areas of day-to-day life like imports, travel, and food and medicine supplies, the report adds.
- READ MORE: The Conservatives have surged in opinion polls after Boris Johnson became prime minister
- READ MORE: Philip Hammond is plotting with Labour to stop Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit
Johnson has made leaving the EU on October 31 the core pledge of his premiership, even if it means doing so without a deal. During his leadership campaign, he described leaving on the scheduled Halloween exit date as “do or die.”
He this week told Members of Parliament that if the EU doesn’t agree to remove the Northern Irish backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement, then he would abandon the deal negotiated by Theresa May, and leave without a deal.
Michael Gove, who Johnson chose to oversee no-deal preparations, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper that the government was “working on the assumption” of the UK leaving without a deal on October 31.
UK heads for no-deal disruption
However, government analysis suggests otherwise.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – which provides the government with independent economic analysis – warned earlier this month that a no-deal Brexit would likely push the United Kingdom into recession next year.
The OBR said that leaving the EU without a deal would cause UK economic growth to fall by two per cent by the end of 2020, and inflict a £30 billion yearly hit to public finances.
There is also growing concern that British business – particularly small businesses – are not prepared for a no-deal Brexit in October, and are in some cases less prepared than they were for a no-deal crash-out in March.
Business Insider reported earlier this year that much of the warehouse space used by companies to stockpile for a no-deal Brexit earlier this year is not available for October, as it is already booked for storing Christmas stock.
Many businesses that collectively spent millions of pounds preparing for a no-deal Brexit in the spring are reluctant to do so for the autumn as they believe Brexit will be delayed again. Some businesses cannot afford to prepare again.
Former Chancellor Philip Hammond is working with the Labour Party and other MPs opposed to a no-deal exit in finding ways to stop it from happening in October, according to reports on Sunday.
Hammond – who quit his former role as chancellor before Johnson became prime minister – held a meeting with Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer in Parliament on Wednesday.
Naomi Smith, CEO of anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, said Johnson’s plan was a “colossal waste of money.”
“We know a no-deal Brexit will mean shortages of foods and medicines, and we know it will cost the country a fortune. Now Boris Johnson wants to throw another £10 million at it,” she said.
“Wasting money like this when we have so many other priorities is exactly why the country has turned against Brexit. We need to stop fixating on it so that we can fix the country.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.