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Boris Johnson plans a £100m advertising blitz to prepare UK for no-deal Brexit

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a speech at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, Britain July 27, 2019. Credit: Reuters/ Lorne Campbell

Prime minister Boris Johnson is to spend £100m on marketing and advertising over the next three months to prepare the UK for a possible no-deal Brexit, according to the Telegraph.

The Telegraph reported that the public information campaign will include TV ads and information leaflets for households on preparing for a no-deal exit from the European Union.

“I can’t imagine there has been a bigger ‘comms’ campaign than this since the War,” a Treasury source told the Telegraph.

The £100m advertising campaign is part of a £1bn spending package on no-deal Brexit preparations that chancellor Sajid Javid is expected to present this week.

“We are turbo charging preparations for no deal and that is now the Government’s number one priority,” chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said.

READ MORE: Carmakers tell Boris: 'No-deal Brexit is simply not an option'

Sunak told Sky News that the government wants to pressure Brussels to remove the “undemocratic” Irish backstop from the withdrawal agreement, adding if the EU is not willing to talk about that, then it’s right that we prepare properly with conviction.”

A new Operations Committee, overseen by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, will meet daily in the run up to October 31. Gove wrote in the Sunday Times that while the goal with still to leave the EU with a deal, the government needed to be prepared for the possibility of a no-deal exit.

“The EU’s leaders have, so far, said they will not change their approach — it’s the unreformed withdrawal agreement, take it or leave it,” he wrote. “We still hope they will change their minds, but we must operate on the assumption that they will not.”

With the clock running out, the UK is stepping up efforts to negotiate a trade deal with the US. Trade secretary Liz Truss will reportedly start laying the groundwork for negotiations this week, and is due to meet Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK this week.