April 19, 2019 9:00 AM

Cabinet Office consultancy fees more than treble in a year due to Brexit

Cabinet Office spending on consultancy work is rising at an unprecedented rate due to Brexit, with figures for the three month period to January analysed by Best for Britain showing consultancy fees had more than trebled from the previous year.

The analysis shows that the Cabinet Office spent £13 million on EU exit work between November 2018 and January 2019. Of this, £12.4 million was paid in consultancy fees relating to the UK's exit from the EU - a whopping 221% increase on the total spent on consultancy services in the same three month period a year earlier.

In January 2019 alone the department spent £6 million on EU exit work, £5.5 million of which was paid for consultancy services. The last figure represents an increase of 312% on January 2018, when £1.3 million was spent on all forms of consultancy services, and a 145% increase on EU exit-related consultancy fees in December 2018.

While the data highlights the soaring cost of consultancy work relating to the UK's exit from the EU, the Cabinet Office also spent large sums of money on its Brexit communications program. Best for Britain found that the department spent £300,000 in December and then a further £400,000 in January - the same month that the House of Commons rejected the Prime Minister's Brexit deal by an unprecedented margin of 230.

Commenting, Best for Britain supporter and Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi said:

"This is yet more clueless spending from the government.

“Anyone still arguing that Brexit isn’t already costing the country a pretty penny needs to take a look at the millions being spent on consultants.

“But no amount of money can unpick the parliamentary knot this Prime Minister has tangled herself in. The only way to do that is by giving the public the final say on Brexit, so that the people can tell politicians what they want after three years of this mess.”

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