Rosie's Brexit Diary
29 December 2018
Freedom of speech? In Britain if you want to speak the truth you need to stay anonymous
Just before Christmas Theresa May announced that she was cutting down her Christmas break by five days to prepare for a “no deal” Brexit. Telegraph readers, familiar by now with her dishonesty, took the view that what she intended to do was increase the efforts to push her ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ through Parliament.
Right on cue, the head of the Metropolitan Police (Cressida Dick) announced that a “no deal” Brexit would put the public at risk....to which Telegraph readers pointed out that (a) she is supposed to be a police officer and not a politician; (b) London is already a very dangerous city and she should get on with the job she is paid to do and go catch violent criminals.
We are still being told that we will run out of food and water and medication - !! - that is ‘Project Fear’ for you!
Yesterday a senior member of the Civil Service wrote that preparations are well advanced but that the Government is keeping as quiet as possible about them, withholding the information or releasing it at the last possible moment under cover of other events. He had to write anonymously, merely to tell the simple truth that the UK is ready to leave the EU and switch to WTO rules in an orderly manner.
and here is a summary of what he wrote:
Every day there are fresh claims that “no deal” would be a disaster, and, so the argument goes, we must accept either the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ or a second referendum. The claims come from the BBC, the press and from Remainer Cabinet ministers. If this were true it would be a terrible indictment of this government and also of the civil service.
But it is absolutely not true - which I know because I have been involved in Brexit work for the past two-and-a-half years. Civil servants like certainty, order and are highly conscious of their duty to keep the country operating smoothly. A disorderly Brexit on 29 March 2019 is not compatible with the principles of good government in which the civil service takes justified pride.
Very detailed plans have been proposed, analysed by many different groups and finally agreed - and are now being put into effect.
Just before Christmas Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs sent letters to businesses advising them on the new procedures for import and export from 29 March 2019, with links to guidance and even to application forms for grants to help with IT upgrades and staff training. Just-in-time importers are also being advised to register as Trusted Traders, in order to benefit from simplified customs facilitation.
The European Union and various member states have also announced bilateral arrangements for euro clearing and financial services, for visa-free tourist travel, and for aviation rights. The French have installed high-tech freight scanners at Calais to keep trade and tourism flowing - and much more.
Thanks to a enormous effort by thousands of hard working civil servants, there are hundreds more no-deal plans in place and ready to be announced - when ministers decide to allow this. If they were announced then nervous MPs and members of the public would be reassured that “crashing out” is simply not going to happen.
If the Government was honest with Parliament and the country, it would then have to find a positive justification for the appalling ‘Withdrawal Agreement’. Remainers would need to think up convincing positive arguments for staying in the EU, something they have not been able to do - hence all the scare-mongering of ‘Project Fear’.
A few of the online comments from Daily Telegraph readers:
Well done to the author, who has taken a very big risk and must have thought very hard for a long time about writing this. Now get it out there into the wider media and wake the country up to what is going on.
Well let’s hope enough MP's still read the DT and retain enough backbone to do the right thing. And that Philip Hammond releases money to let things get moving. I'm not generally a subscriber to conspiracy theories but it looks increasing like one has been played out over the last two years.
I'd like to thank the author for his honesty and for calling the Government to account .... for the lies. There is nothing to fear from a WTO Rules Brexit. And everything to gain.
I would imagine that many of the more conscientious civil servants have just about had enough of being painted as a bunch of lazy, troughing, incompetents. I think we will now being hearing a lot more about the preparations which they have, quite rightly, been making since the Referendum.
This article has restored my faith in the Civil Service, the people behind the scenes actually running this country.