The gravy train puffs along. The Times gives a rough indication of where the civil service is going with Brexit:
Many of the British experts who would be best at brokering a deal are working for the European Commission. Some in Whitehall are keen to bring them back, but Eurosceptic ministers are suspicious of their motives.
Instead, lawyers, trade negotiators, economists and management consultants are being hired at huge expense from the private sector. City firms including Linklaters, PwC, KPMG and EY have been approached about filling the skills gaps. A whole Brexit industry is springing up, with Whitehall ready to pay up to £5,000 a day for lawyers and £1,000 for management consultants. Insiders estimate that the additional salaries alone will amount to at least £5 billion over the next decade.
It’s not just the new departments that are recruiting. The Treasury is advertising for an expert to lead its Brexit negotiations on financial services. Defra will need experts to negotiate deals for farmers and fishermen. The global budget is also spiralling. Dr Fox is planning to set up trade offices all over the world. Nobody in his department could tell me how much that will cost, but with embassy funding slashed to the bone there will be little scope for relying on existing staff and facilities. In addition, the three cabinet Brexiteers will no doubt have hefty expense accounts to jet around the world, staying in top hotels with a coterie of officials. That’s not going to go down well with the “left behind” voters who backed Brexit because they were so angry about a perceived wealthy elite.They never told us about this during the referendum campaign ...