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Uncertainty over Brexit memo leak 'could shake markets'


Denials: Chris Grayling

Denials: Chris Grayling

Getty Images

Denials: Chris Grayling

A leaked Cabinet Office memo suggesting Whitehall civil servants are overwhelmed with Brexit work could introduce fresh volatility into the markets, according to an investment expert in Northern Ireland.

A report yesterday revealed a leaked Cabinet Office memo claiming Whitehall departments were working on more than 500 projects related to leaving the EU and may need to hire an extra 30,000 civil servants to deal with the increased workload.

Jamesina Doble, director of investment management with Belfast-based wealth management experts Johnston Campbell, said: "If it is true, it puts the Government's Brexit plans further away, and the longer the uncertainty drags on, the less inclined businesses are to invest capital. In uncertain times, markets tend to over-react to every piece of news that comes out, so they are likely to become more unsettled and more volatile.

"We have already heard that easyJet is setting up a parent company in mainland Europe.

"The air industry is one of the more sensitive industries to be affected by Brexit as negotiation around routes and landing slots are carried out at EU level, so under Brexit, they won't have the same negotiating power."

Leaked to The Times, the memo claimed "no common strategy has emerged" on Brexit between departments despite extensive debate among permanent secretaries.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he had no idea where the report had come from and denied that it was commissioned by ministers.

Belfast Telegraph