Article 50: Government must act now to prepare civil service for Brexit, says FDA

Wednesday 29 March 2017
(For immediate release)

Responding to Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggering Article 50, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

“The countdown has begun and the Prime Minister must act now to properly resource the civil service if she wants to enter this two year process on a strong footing.

“Huge budget cuts in recent years have left the civil service is at its smallest since before the Second World War and the Government can no longer ignore mounting calls from the likes of Lord Kerslake, the Institute for Government and the National Audit Office to review civil service capacity.

“The challenges facing Britain and the civil service have significantly changed, but the Government is still blindly continuing with outdated spending plans and efficiency targets set by the previous Chancellor.

“Civil servants will now be at the heart of delivering new trade relationships, transposing EU laws into British ones and overhauling immigration, customs and agricultural policies currently handled by the EU.

“If the Government wants to retain the talented civil servants it already has, as well as attract the new skills required to prepare for a post-Brexit Britain, now is the time to seriously review its approach to departmental spending, workforce planning and civil service pay.”

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals at grade HEO and above. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, diplomats, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants’ union". 

3. The FDA can be found on
Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.

4. For further information contact:

  • Tommy Newell, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07738 729 145.
  • Matt Foster, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07982 514 524.