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Brexit forces Defra to recruit 1,150 staff

Defra has had to recruit 1,150 extra staff to cope with the work pressures caused by Brexit, according to environment secretary Michael Gove.

In a letter to Labour MP Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Gove said more than 1,050 were in post and the remainder going through appointment processes.

He was writing in response to the committee’s concerns that Defra lacked the capacity to cope with 70 Brexit-related work streams, after the National Audit Office had forecast that the department would need 1,200 extra staff.

The committee had asked Gove to explain the 300-plus work streams that relate to Brexit across the Government, but he said he could do this only “once careful assessments have concluded on what it would be possible to provide and on what terms”.

 

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