Northern Ireland

Brexit: £31.4m extra to help prepare for no-deal exit

A lorry crosses the border from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland passing a road sign welcoming drivers to Northern Ireland. Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Stormont departments can avail of extra cash as the chancellor vows to "intensify" Brexit planning

Stormont's Department of Finance has said the chancellor's new Brexit money means Northern Ireland will receive an additional £31.4m to help prepare for a no-deal exit.

The new money consists of £1.1bn, which will be provided to departments and devolved administrations immediately.

A further £1bn would be made available if needed.

The finance department said it would "engage closely with other departments in respect of this funding".

On Thursday, Chancellor Sajid Javid announced an extra £2.1bn of funding to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Devolved administrations can bid for access to the £1bn unallocated pot where they face disproportionate pressures compared to England.

'Intensify Brexit planning'

Last month the Northern Ireland department most exposed to Brexit said it could not recruit the staff it needed and the shortfall presented a "serious risk".

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) issued the warning in its annual report.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Planning for Brexit needs to be intensified, says Sajid Javid

It said 85 Brexit roles remained unfilled, even after 90 workers were redeployed to Brexit duties.

It is considering postponing or reducing some work to allow staff to concentrate on "urgent" Brexit business.

Mr Javid said it was vital to "intensify our planning to ensure we are ready" for Brexit on 31 October.

"We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop," he added.

"But if we can't get a good deal we'll have to leave without one.

"This additional £2.1bn will ensure we are ready to leave on 31 October - deal or no-deal."

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