Five incredibly expensive sums the Tories have spent on Brexit so far

Greg Evans
Tuesday 26 November 2019 13:30
news

Depending on what side you are on in the general election, Brexit may or may not be a big issue to you.

Tory and Brexit Party supporters are obviously very keen to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible but Labour are willing to call a second referendum, whereas the Lib Dems want to cancel the whole thing altogether.

It's obviously a huge subject which has seemingly dominated the majority of the discourse for well over three years now and doesn't look like it will come to an end any time soon, regardless of who wins the election.

While most of us would like to see an end to this debacle sooner, rather than later, the most eye-watering aspect of Brexit is how much it has already cost the UK.

Such things as preparation for a no-deal, bungled transport contracts, advertising and political deals have already cost the UK billions and it's only going to get higher.

So, without further ado here is a brief breakdown of some of the most costly things that the government has done in an attempt to make Brexit as smooth as possible when it has been anything but.

£100m on 'Get ready for Brexit' adverts

A few weeks ago, no matter where you were in the UK, you may have noticed the government's 'Get ready for Brexit' adverts everywhere.

They appeared in bus stops, train stations, newspapers, television, podcasts, even in the wrong language in Belgium. They wanted to inform people about what was going to happen when the UK left the EU on October 31st and what they should do to prepare.

Those adverts have now completely disappeared as Brexit didn't happen on that date and as things stand we are still a part of the European Union.

Whether they will make a resurrection next year and the January 31st deadline is stuck to remains to be seen but those adverts have already cost taxpayers £100m.

The campaign was officially scrapped on October 28th having already run up that cost, a bill that could have been spent on more worthwhile things, such as teachers.

£13.8m for government Ferry contract for a company with no boats

Cast your minds back to the halcyon days of January 2019.

Theresa May was still the prime minister. We didn't have to worry about the Tories deceptively changing their Twitter profile and the Brexit deadline was still March 29.

Oh and we had a transport secretary who was handing out expensive contracts to company's that weren't fit to do the job required.

When Chris Grayling handed a £13.8 million pound contract to Seaborne Freight to provide ferry transport to and from the UK, in the event of a no-deal, who should have probably checked if they actually had any ferries to begin with.

They didn't but Grayling insisted that the government wanted to support "a new startup business" but by May the entire contract was scrapped at a reported £50m to taxpayers.

By July that figure had risen to a reported £85m with the Department for Transport making a £33m out-of-court settlement with Eurotunnel. Labour then accused Grayling of wasting '£2.7bn in political blunders'.

Amazingly, Grayling wasn't sacked for this debacle but is no longer a cabinet member and is still campaigning to be the MP for Epsom & Ewell, Surrey.

£1bn to DUP

One of the Tories most costly errors in the last nine years has been their tumultuous deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

After they failed to get a majority in the 2017 snap general election, an election they really didn't need to call, Theresa May, struck a deal with the DUP that would allow them to prop up the Tories and form a government.

It has since been disclosed that the Tories agreed to give the DUP an extra £1billion over a course of five years which would help with infrastructure, health services, broadband development and education.

Now, you really shouldn't be surprised to learn that the partnership between the DUP and the Tories hasn't been that productive as the two parties have famously not got on for decades.

However, the DUP have since vowed that they cannot back Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal as their own leader, Arlene Foster, said it would take Northern Ireland in the 'wrong direction.'

Now it remains to be seen what will happen after the election and where the DUP's alliances will lie but they are definitely not supporting Johnson's deal.

A £1-billion well spent then?​

£8bn on no-deal preparations

Overall the cost and planning of preparations for a no-deal Brexit have now risen to £8 billion, a figure that was confirmed in September by Sajid Javid, who set aside an extra £2bn for a no-deal shortly after becoming chancellor.

This was obviously before the Brexit deadline was extended but it is still an astonishing amount of money to spend on a self-inflicted problem and a figure that would have been greatly needed elsewhere.

Oh and let's not forget the infamous Brexit 50p which despite not costing taxpayers money, has never materialised and is presumably wasting a lot of people's time over at the Royal Mint, especially as the ones that have been made are now going to be melted.

To give a full overview of the true cost of Brexit we suggest you head over to the Brexit Calculator which has been running a tally of the cost of Brexit ever since the Bank of England announced that trying to leave the EU was costing Britain £440 million-a-week.

Currently, the overall total is at £78bn, which could have been spent on 3 billion extra nurses, 44 new hospitals, 4 million new police officers, 5,000 new trains and repairing a lot of potholes, something which the Tories are very keen on.

Still, best 'Get Brexit Done', right?

More: Man gatecrashes Sky News report to give his honest thoughts on Brexit

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