On Thursday 26 October, the government quietly released the figures for how much it has spent on administering Brexit so far. And considering we’re only seven months into the two-year Article 50 process, it looks like the bill for leaving the EU is going to be rather large. Because the government is forecasting that Brexit will cost it a third of a billion pounds just to administer. Never mind the reported tens of billions of pounds the ‘Brexit divorce bill’ could cost.
The cost so far
The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) has released its full accounts [pdf] for 2016/17. And they reveal the scale of what has been spent on Brexit already.
- Staff costs: these were £14m, or 58% of expenditure.
- Legal fees: in total, these cost the DExEU £3.7m.
- Accommodation: the DExEU spent £3.4m on rooms for its staff.
- IT cost the department £1.2m.
But look deeper into the figures and they show what the DExEU has spent so far, and what it’s budgeting to spend up until March 2020.
Nice work if you can get it
Of the 209 employees [pdf, p40] of the DExEU, the median salary was £48,000 [pdf, p34]. The highest paid person in the department was Oliver Robbins, the Permanent Secretary to the DExEU, who is on £160,000-£165,000 a year [pdf, p31]. Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary David Davis gets an additional £67,505 a year [pdf, p31] on top of his £74,962 as an MP.
A third of a billion Brexit divorce bill
The £24.2m the DExEU spent in 2016/17 was against a budget [pdf, p15] of £49.4m; so an underspend of £25.2m. But the government is forecasting future costs will be much higher. In total, it has budgeted [pdf, p50] £322,774,000 to see the UK through the Brexit process, up until 2020.
With Davis still refusing to release reports on the estimated economic impact of Brexit, the cost of leaving the EU will become more and more of an issue. And the DExEU spending hundreds of millions just to administer Brexit will surely raise eyebrows among those who voted ‘Remain’.
– Sign the petition calling on the government to release the Brexit impact/risk assessments.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?