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Civil service must have the tools for the job as Article 50 looms, says FDA

Commenting on Downing Street's announcement that Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29, FDA Assistant General Secretary Rob O'Neill said: "With the start of the formal Brexit process now just days away, Ministers must act urgently to reassure the public that the civil service is properly resourced for the challenges ahead.

"In the coming months, departments will be asked to prepare the Great Repeal Bill, deliver all of the Government's existing manifesto promises and come up with entirely new post-Brexit regimes for immigration, customs and agricultural policy, as today's report from the Institute for Government makes clear. (New report lays bare the challenge of Brexit law-making)

"Yet the key departments leading this charge have borne massive cuts in recent years. On current plans, Defra's budget will have shrunk by more than a third between 2010 and the end of this Parliament, while the Home Office will have endured a 21% cut.

"If the Prime Minister really wants to make a success of Brexit, she cannot do it on the cheap. With Article 50 looming, it's time for the Government to match these major new commitments with the resources needed to do the job."

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 5555 or 07738 729 145.

Channel website: https://www.fda.org.uk/

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