U.K. May Hire Another 9,000 Civil Servants to Help Tackle Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. Treasury has approved funding for about 9,000 more civil servants if needed to help the government with Brexit, potentially more than doubling the number of staff working on Britain’s departure from the EU.

The emergency recruitment plan was announced Thursday alongside government advice for businesses and the public on how to prepare for a possible no-deal Brexit. In all, 7,000 civil servants are working on the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union after some departments, including the environment ministry, added staff since the 2016 referendum.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab released 25 notices Thursday with no-deal plans on everything from financial services to medicines. Raab was grilled after on the rising costs and regulatory burdens for companies, as well as over the financial fate of elderly Brits settled in cheaper, warmer countries in the EU, who are at risk of losing access to pensions paid into U.K. banks.

Raab said the U.K. still expects to strike a “strong deal that benefits both sides” but that the government “must be ready” in the event talks fail. Both sides this week committed to stepping up efforts to reach an agreement, though the original October deadline may be slipping to later in the year.

Most British people now think the possibility of the U.K. leaving without a deal is more likely than not, according to a KPMG survey. If the U.K. doesn’t strike a deal, 70 percent thought prices would rise and a similar number said they would alter their spending.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.