Brexit speculation: Autumn Statement is Government’s opportunity to outline how civil service will be resourced, says FDA

15 November 2016
(For immediate release)

Commenting on speculation surrounding the Brexit challenge facing the civil service, following the publication of a leaked memo in today's Times, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

"Whether the memo represents a considered Government position or not, it's clear that unpacking 40 years of EU membership is the single biggest task facing the civil service since the second world war.

"Whilst politicians squabble about hard and soft Brexit, there is a deafening silence from Ministers over whether any additional resources will be provided to deliver this momentous task. Brexit on the cheap appears to be the Government's preferred approach, but this will satisfy no-one.

"Next week's Autumn Statement is the Government's opportunity to outline how it will provide the resources the civil service needs to ensure a successful Brexit.

"The civil service can deliver a positive outcome for the UK, but to do so it must be given the necessary capacity, capability and clear political direction."

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

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.