Critics have lashed out at the scale of government spending on a public information campaign designed to help people and businesses prepare for the impact of Brexit after a freedom of information request by the Press Association showed over £10m had been spent on 'Prepare for EU Exit' material between November 2018 and July 2019 alone.
A detailed breakdown of the figures handed over by the Cabinet Office indicated that £2.7m had been lavished on print, £2.4m on radio and £1.3m on TV; with a further £1m being spent on social media promotions and the remaining £3m finding its way to ‘other’ avenues of expenditure.
Attacking the figures as a waste of public resources Labour MP Wes Streeting said: “Every single penny spent on this advertising campaign to prepare for the self-inflicted damage that is Brexit would have been better spent on policing, schools and the NHS. Brexit is already costing us dearly and we haven’t even left yet.”
The UK government has ramped up preparations for a no-deal Brexit following the appointment of Boris Johnson as prime minister. Johnson has set 31 October as the ‘do, or die’ date by which the UK must leave the European bloc.
In a statement, a government spokesman said: “It is paramount that organisations, communities and citizens have the right information and support for Brexit. We will soon launch a large-scale public information campaign setting out what business and the public need to know and do to be fully prepared for Brexit.”
The government has set aside a £100m war chest with which to hammer home the looming exit date in a bid to boost preparedness.