Ministry of Defence: Brexit

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th May 2019.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Labour, Tottenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officials in her Department have been seconded away from their normal duties to work on the UK's withdrawal from the EU; and what effect that secondment of staff has had on the effectiveness of her Department.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

A total of 257 Ministry of Defence (MOD) civil servants were augmented to Other Government Departments (OGDs) as preparation for the UK to leave the EU. This figure includes those who were augmented in support of Operation Yellowhammer. As at 23 May 2019, 254 had returned to the MOD. Three MOD civil servants remain augmenting OGDs as preparation for the UK to leave the EU. In addition, a total of 61 MOD civil servants were moved internally to work on EU Exit within MOD, of which 54 had returned to non-EU specific roles as at 23 May.

The MOD continually reviews workforce plans, reprioritising and assessing changing needs, which includes identification and cessation of non-priority work where appropriate. We have accelerated our plans, and at the same time, the civil service as a whole is working to ensure that EU Exit implementation is carried out to a high quality without impacting public service delivery across the whole of Government. The MOD continues to meet all its current commitments, keeping the country and its interests safe. The augmentation outlined above has had no impact on Defence outputs; as at 1 April 2019, 318 augmentees represented 0.55 per cent of the MOD civilian personnel strength (full time equivalent).

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