Brexit has changed everything - except the civil service being properly resourced to prepare for it, says FDA

23 November 2016
(For immediate release)

Responding to the 2016 Autumn Statement, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

"The Chancellor set out the Autumn Statement in the context of preparing for the UK leaving the EU and the challenges ahead, but in the same breath he confirmed that spending plans to cut departmental resources by around 20% - outlined last year and prior to Brexit - will be maintained.

"Whilst some additional funding is being allocated to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade and the Department for Exiting the EU, the task of preparing for and implementing the consequences of Brexit will impact across the civil service and have major consequences for a number of departments, particularly DEFRA, the Home Office and department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

"With no additional funding, departments will once again be asked to deliver ever more with ever less. As the Public Accounts Committee highlighted earlier today, the Government 'needs to be flexible and agile to respond to changing priorities, particularly the challenge of Brexit', adding that 'the current approach is too often slow to respond and encourages Government to simply add to its list of activities without effective prioritisation'.

"The civil service can deliver the best outcome possible from Brexit for the UK, but the Government needs to provide it with clear political objectives and the necessary capacity and capability.

"Today's Autumn Statement has confirmed that Brexit on the cheap is the Government's favoured approach."

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:

  • Dave Penman, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07980 700747.