back to article IT systems still in limbo as departments await Brexit policy – MPs

The two UK government departments most exposed to Brexit have yet to show progress on how their IT systems will cope with the "unprecedented" challenge of leaving the EU – Parliament's Public Accounts Committee today warned. "The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International …


      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Harmsworth (Viscount Rothermere) of the Daily Mail. Quite the ominous name.

        It's OK.

        I don't think he leaves his French Chateau very often to visit the UK.

        It's just the place his company makes its money in.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Harmsworth (Viscount Rothermere) of the Daily Mail. Quite the ominous name.

          leaves his French Chateau

          By Harry and Boy George!!

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: I do hope there's a list of the MP's on the European Research Group.

      Be they Treacherous Trojans and Wannabe Lord Haw Haw Type Memes, those Enemies of the Right Royal Estate, John Smith 19?

      Or do Arrogant Ignorant Humans have All of those Dysfunctional Bases well covered today?

      In the Beginning, there were no Words Creating Worlds nor Worlds Creating Words. Alien Advancing IntelAIgents Provided that Mined and Mining Mind Field of Greater CHAOS Game Play ..... Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems beyond Scorched Earthed Control and Terrorising Terrestrial Command?

      The Difficulty All Older Systems Have is Not Having Independent Corresponding Sees Presenting AI and IT Delivering Viable Communicating Future Visions. Such is a Retarded Legacy Issue which Proves Problematic and Divisive, Maddeningly Destructive and Subversive.

  1. Laura Kerr

    Dr Pangloss says

    "both departments appear optimistic that they can deliver what's required to be ready for March 2019, whatever the outcome of the negotiations."

    That one statement has lightened my day. Even if - IF - the 30th September deadline for a deal is met, AND it gets quickly ratified by all 27 EU members, there will be something like three or four months to 'deliver what's required.' We all know where that will end - and even if the 'implementation period' is used to cobble something together, it'll still go down to the wire and a be a bag of spanners when it goes live.

    Unless of course 'what's required' consists solely of slideware festooned with meaningless stats and management speak, in which case there's plenty of time for that.

    Warning to all Oxford Classics graduates - there's a reality missile heading your way. I just hope Holyrood can pull Scotland back from the brink.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dr Pangloss says

      No Sweat! The TSB team will be available on the market about that time and chomping at their bits to have a go at it!

  2. JimBlueMK

    The truth is...

    In March 2019 when some of the new systems are not in place, the Govt will simply say those IT chappies we employed failed to deliver, it is all their fault.

    In December 2020 when I think the period finishes the postion will be those IT chappies we brought in have failed to deliver and ripped us off for (b/m)illions (depends on Mail or Telegraph reporting) and it is all their fault.

    In 2021, it will be we are employing some Indian people under our free trade agreement whereby Indians get free movement to come and fix our IT problems, on the cheap, because this is how free trading global players work.

    In 2022 replace Indians with Chinese IT people

    In 2023 we the electorate realise the country is broke, all the free trade deals were signed by countries that wanted to sell us things (but not buy our things) and the rest of the world has bought whatever Britsh businesses looked like they might have had some real value in the global business world.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "in 2023 we the electorate realise the country is broke"



      We wants it

      We needs it

      We must have hard Brexit

      Precious. (Stroking his hard border)


      1. I&I

        Re: "in 2023 we the electorate realise the country is broke"

        Fed by blind fish

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: The truth is...

      Depressingly accurate.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe post Brexit, they'll make piracy legal.

    Just like the good old days.

    If I remember correctly, we excelled at it then.

    In fact you could say piracy made Britain great.


  4. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    But the population problem will be solved!

    Before long Poland and Romania will have an influx of hard working British plumbers, electricians and builders, and we'll be going to Germany and France to buy cheap second hand cars to get the spares we can no longer afford. So long as we can get back into the UK again, which seems increasingly unlikely.

    Is there by any chance a Conservative MP or candidate named Fuster-Cluck? Because the odds on them being the next PM will be very short.

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: But the population problem will be solved!

      There are all sorts from all sides of the political divides including Mr Hunt and Cunningham. They are the ones that have been fighting to keep us in despite the obvious reasons for leaving.

  5. VicMortimer

    One viable option

    Honestly, you've got exactly one viable option at this point:

    Stop Brexit.

    That's it. Anything else, and welcome to your new third world economy. Britain will not recover from it for a very long time.

    So suck it up, stop persisting in this foolishness, and start calling your MPs to let them know that remaining in the EU is the only choice you really have. Remind them that it was a non-binding referendum, remind them that it was damn near 50-50 anyway, remind them that the election was heavily influenced by the same Russian meddling that got the US the current Cheeto in office, and remind them that the British economy is toast if they don't give up on the ludicrous idea of leaving the EU.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: One viable option

      remind them that the election was heavily influenced by the same Russian meddling that got the US the current Cheeto in office

      Troll and Liar.

      "Heavily influenced" has a meaning. And it is not the one you are using here.

    2. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: One viable option


      The referendum was won against a government sponsored remain campaign (including a much flaunted 'special deal' Cameron 'won' from the EU, and a huge publicity drive through the BBC and a leaflet).

      The referendum is advisory - after all parliament is supposedly 'soveriegn' BUT the parliament consists of people whose job it is to represent the very constituents that voted to leave - thus not leaving (as I think May actually intends) is against the democratic vote and the job the MPs are there to do.

      The facts are also clear - since we joined our debt has increased, our taxes have increased, our trade deficit has increased, our unemployment has increased, our manufacturing has shrunk, our services have shrunk, we have had to rasied money through selling all our public utilities and companies to foreign (often foreign government) ownership, we have decimated (and worse) our military to the point they can't defend the Isle of White never mind the UK.... if you really think any of this is good you are quite off your trolley.

      Worse of all is that we have bred several generations of people totally and utterly unable to believe in themselves, their abilities or even the abilities of their countrymen who now feel that the UK can't manage without the supposed cooperation of a bunch who have never been allies (even the French in the last war against Germany refused to give us their navy so we had to sink it to stop them giving it to their new friends). None of these supposed allies actually abide by the rules that are imposed on us (the Germans back their automotive industry to the tunes of billions a year via direct purchase of ALL government vehicles from Germany regardless of cost, quality or any other criteria) while the French stand by and watch their farmers destroy any imports...

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    "The spending watchdog"

    The spending watchdog

    I can only picture John Bull's companion animal, living the high life probably getting premium caviar-laced dogfood in select outlets of the financial district.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Impact Assessment

    Is this the same government that hasn't done the comprehensive impact assessment on the wonderful Brexit deal that is being carved out?

    When it was announced, I was working with procurement - a lot of the tenders were EU tenders. Even that process hasn't been explained or worked out, let alone tarrifs, trade or tax.

    Omni-shambles of the highest order

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Impact Assessment

      The impact assessment was never done because project fear were confident both in the fear factor and the fraud they would commit at counting time. They misjudged both.

      Now they pretend it was the Russians... but there argument doesn't stack up too well does it? IF they are correct and the Russians fear a strong and independent UK able to act on its own they wouldn't back Brexit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Impact Assessment

        >Now they pretend it was the Russians... but there argument doesn't stack up too well does it? IF they are correct and the Russians fear a strong and independent UK able to act on its own they wouldn't back Brexit.

        The Russians don't fear a strong and independent UK, rather they prefer a weaker and divided Europe *and* UK, and Brexit gives them both on a stick.

  8. Dave 15 Silver badge

    most likely reason

    May knows that she will lose the vote in the commons on the deal she is creating... mainly because no one in their right mind will carry on paying for decades to come for something they arent getting (e.g. the european space projects etc). She has already planned this. She will stamp her little feet saying she promissed (which is politician speak for never intended) the British people Brexit. She will then come to the people again but this time with a take the shit deal or stay vote... knowing that the BBC and other media (along with some has been actors etc) have been broadcasting antobrexit 'news' for 3 years and even the most strongly anti european want an exit not a shit deal. So she gets what she wanted in the first place... an excuse to cancel brexit. Thus these departments save a lot of money by not doing planning and action for something that will never happen anyway. (mores the pity)

  9. Conspectus83

    IT in DEFRA is an ungodly mess

    “This means that Defra, in particular, is having to work up options for the three different scenarios – deal, no deal or transition.”

    3 Scenarios to work out, well, they will be at it forever. DEFRA hierarchy is incapable of making decisions. 12 months ago the Environment Agency, Rural Payments Agency and DEFRA IT departments got merged together and they cannot work out the pay scales and think it will be another 15 months before they do.

    This means there is freeze on employing any one for outside unless you are a contractor. Its a contractors banquet at the moment in DEFRA. Since nobody new can be employed they cannot get rid of the contractor and the contractor is making sure they feet are well and truly under the table.

    Fair play to the contractor, I would do the same if I were a contractor, but just think of the expense. At £400 to £500 a day and 250 workings days a year, tax payers money going flying out the window.

    Contractors are ruling the roust in DEFRA IT and its only going to get worse as the leaders don’t know what is going on. After the article, see link below, One director was asked, on a department wide phone in, about the “four systems” that would have to be built in a no deal scenario and they went “Errrrrrr don’t know”.


    IT in DEFRA is an ungodly mess and its only going to get worse with a huge number of demoralized IT workers.


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