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Brexit ministers demand Phillip Hammond provide them with 'hundreds more' members of staff amid cuts

Trade Department and the Foreign Office ordered to cut their spending by 6 per cent

Monday 20 March 2017 01:49 GMT
Philip Hammond's first Budget has caused a storm of controversy
Philip Hammond's first Budget has caused a storm of controversy (EPA)

Brexit ministers are demanding that Phillip Hammond provide them with “hundreds more” members of staff after departments have been forced to make cuts.

Mr Hammond has ordered the Trade Department and the Foreign Office to cut spending by 6 per cent, despite the fact their work is pivotal in the run up to the Brexit negotiations.

Although the Brexit Department has been made exempt from this, a senior figure said they urgently needed more staff members.

“We need more officials. The Department is growing, but we have got a big task starting in just a couple of weeks’ time,” the senior source told The Telegraph.

“We certainly need a couple of hundred more. The stuff we are doing is unbelievably technical.”

A senior official from the Trade department also agreed that more staff was needed.

“The expectation is that Britain will be delivering a number of free trade agreements and progress in other trade areas. It will need people and expertise to deliver those,” The Telegraph reported the official as saying.

“We do need to make sure it is properly financed. We don’t want Britain's trading future, such an important part of this Government, to be impacted because we don’t have the capabilities to deliver.”

A source from the Foreign office questioned whether Mr Hammond’s cuts were a good idea.

“The Foreign Office can’t continue to have cuts to our budget if we want to achieve Global Britain,” the source said.

“We’ve already undergone efficiency savings. Hammond himself asked for increased spending when he was in the Foreign Office.”

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