back to article IT systems still in limbo as UK.gov 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. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    La la la la

    what 3 years to completely redesign every system that does any form of interaction with our largest trading partner?

    We'll give you the design criteria in a years time, until then...la la la la laaa

    Oh look a pigeon.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: La la la la

      That's not pigeon it's an incognito squirrel

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: La la la la

        It's an omen pigeon

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: La la la la

      Simple answer: Go back to pencil and paper systems operated by the extra million or two unemployed we're going to end up with as a result of leaving the EU.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

    are f**ked.

    Only Pig farmers survive in all scenarios.

    The only way it's BAU for "British Farming Ltd" is for DEFRA to maintain all the CAP payments.

    Otherwise upland sheep, lowland dairy and cattle, arable and worst case even chicken production is all roadkill.

    But hey maybe the fishermen won't have to abide by the hated fishing quota system?

    Err, no. They will for at least 2 years after Brexit, maybe more.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

      Maybe the fishermen won't have to abide by the hated fishing quota system?

      Maybe no-one will. It's not just the IT that's ill-prepared...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

      "But hey maybe the fishermen won't have to abide by the hated fishing quota system?"

      And those who depend on the hated EU as a market for their catch (because we're only really keen on a limited range of species) aren't going to be able to sell what they do catch.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

        On the other hand, the UK might be able to capitalise on its headless chicken mountain.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "And those who depend on the hated EU as a market for their catch "

        Nonsense, that's just remoaner scare mongering. Of course they will be able to sell them.

        Subject to the non-EU import tariff first of course.

        Because membership had it's privileges, which will now be gone.

    3. teknopaul Bronze badge

      Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

      Sea rape is not a national issue. You cant go it alone on that one. Gonna have to talk to the neighbors im afraid.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly those in government don't want to do Brexit so we are going to be left with a big steaming turd when/if we leave.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Clearly those in government don't want to do Brexit"

      There seem to be plenty who do.

      "so we are going to be left with a big steaming turd when/if we leave."

      No argument there. But it's not because the government don't want Brexit, it's because they want it so much that they just charged on without impact assessment, planning or anything else which might have been relevant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You might be right, just doesn't seem that way, neither side can agree what it is going to be so we can't do anything and neither can they.

      2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        "it's because they want it so much that they just charged on without impact assessment"

        A bit like Iraq then

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Clearly those in government don't want to do Brexit

      They do. However they have the understanding of the subject matter of an Oxford University humanitarian degree graduate combined with the hubris of an Oxford University humanitarian degree graduate. The so called "red brick lodged in rectum" syndrome.

      To put it bluntly, if they had even the faintest clue of how much REAL work it is to execute successfully on this one, they would have never been waving the BrExit banner. I am leaving all arguments of "pro and con in the endgame" aside and leaving just the execution here by the way.

      Personally, I am preparing my retreat positions abroad. I have observed the action blockbuster called "cold turkey removal of a country from a trading block" after the dissolution of the Eastern European trading agreements in the 1990es(*). It is a B-movie one does not want to watch from the front row more than once in a lifetime. I watched it once. It's enough. Yes I do not need to see decades in the future as I have seen this cluster*ck a few decades in the past.

      By the way, we are already observing the opening sequence - on every UK road. It looks exactly the way Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian and Czech roads looked in the 1990-es. If you have any objection to that you are probably driving a tank (or something similar which does not notice potholes).

      (*)It is irrelevant is a trading block good, bad, red or blue. One day you have relationships spanning 20 years with suppliers and customers. The next day you do not and there is no money to pay your workers so you are parking agricultural, industrial, etc machinery on the lawn in front of the parliament asking for money - which they do not have. It is as simple as that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was talking about the civil service not wanting to do Brexit, we all know the politician splits that will eventually lead to another general election and vote.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I was talking about the civil service not wanting to do Brexit"

          Of course not. Whatever's said about the Civil Service they have a much better grasp of reality than do politicians.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "To put it bluntly, if they had even the faintest clue of how much REAL work it is to execute successfully on this one, they would have never been waving the BrExit banner."

        They probably would still have been waving it. Why should the amount of REAL work matter? Somebody else does that.

      3. Milton Silver badge

        "cold turkey removal of a country from a trading block"

        Voland's right hand makes a few good points.

        The quality of "thinking" in UK politics is pitiful and certainly not improved by the fact that that lowest of of all life forms, the Career Politician, is "educated" with crap like PPE—the posh equivalent of a Tourism degree. People whose minds are already crippled by an affinity for politics need a scientific education to cure them, not more rubbish that reinforces their delusion that style and spin are all that matters while detail and substance are irrelevant. Imagine how much less shit would have spewed from the minds and mouths of a Boris, an Osborne or a Cameron if they'd had to get a decent degree in something hard like physics. The intellectual poverty, and often outright bankruptcy, of the Westminster clowns is doing terrible damage.

        The comparison of Brexit consequences with what happened in 1990s easter Europe is also telling. I suspect that even those who are thoughtful and realistic about the disastrous effects of Brexit haven't really appreciated all the knock-on pitfalls and losses this country will experience.

        You could perhaps argue that the UK will do better than those former Warsaw Pact nations, given that it has a much larger economy, already trades extensively overseas and, critically, isn't hampered by a command economy. That would seem logical. But it's also arguable that we have some very specific weaknesses that are going to make this crash especially catastrophic. These include: positively barbaric, Victorian-era levels of inequality, accompanied by the seeds of a US-style regressiveness of economic policy; a savaged social welfare system; crippling under-investment in police, schools, health and transport infrastructure; an increasingly dysfunctional democracy, "led" by manifest fools like May; a sewerpress which, with ever fewer exceptions (nod to The Guardian) has become a toxic swamp of propaganda and hate-filled populist screeching; and a population that ceases to value mature, rational, evidence-based decision-making.

        Yes, Brexit is a symptom of the Age of Stupid, the sheer lazy ignorance of politicians and the tribal polarisation of culture leading to bigotry and hate: it arises from the loss of our ability to work together like thinking, rational, adults.

        But those same weaknesses are also going to make the actuality of Brexit much, much worse than it needs to be. Brexit was always going to severely damage the UK, but the same forces that make it happen are actually also going to make the damage a lot more severe and enduring.

        The angry, stupid children have smashed up the house: and they are precisely the wrong people to fix it.

        1. Dr Paul Taylor

          Who smashed up the house?

          The angry, stupid children have smashed up the house: and they are precisely the wrong people to fix it.

          Agree with you completely, except that the angry stupid grandma and grandpa smashed up the house, leaving the children to fix it.

          I have been of the opinion since Gordon Brown was in no 10 that we have no competent politicians in any of the parties.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Who smashed up the house?

            Agree with you completely, except that the angry stupid grandma and grandpa smashed up the house, leaving the children to fix it.

            For which they barely have the tools, skills and experience. Maybe they'd do better getting some East-European workers ... oh, hm.

            1. teknopaul Bronze badge

              Re: Who smashed up the house?

              Maybe they'd do better getting some...

              Honestly. Crap racist jokes like this are the _cause_ of your woes.

              Replace East-European with black or women in that sentence. reevaluate your "joke" and realise its unacceptable now. And always.

              Were it unacceptable two years ago uk would not be where it is now. If you lose your anti-european racism you might be allowed back in one day.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: Who smashed up the house?

                Crap racist jokes like this are the _cause_ of your woes.

                My woes? You're so barking up the wrong tree.

                And geographical origin is not equal to race. Apart from that, a large part of the reason you'll find East Europeans working construction in Western Europe is that a) there are jobs here, more than there are at home, and b) those jobs' pay is better than those at home.

                Good luck with you lot getting those jobs filled next year.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: Who smashed up the house?

                  Good luck with you lot getting those jobs filled next year.

                  Same as the Gulf states, we allow large construction companies to bring in unlimited numbers of cheap Indian/ Bangladeshi workers to do the job, live on site, be paid a pittance, and shipped home at the end of the job. Obviously to make it profitable we will have to relax health and safety and workers rights a little - but that's why we voted to be free from euro-justice meddling.

                  The British people will love it - Auf Weidersehen Pet meets Bridge on the River Kwai

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Who smashed up the house?

                @teknopaul

                It wasn't a joke - it's called irony.

                And it's perfectly acceptable.

          2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Who smashed up the house?

            Yes. though Gordon Brown is far too recent a watermark (and possibly a poor one - his main fault seems to have been that he didn't handle the media well).

            I can't remember a competent minister in my entire life, and I'm not far off retirement age. Perhaps I missed one pre-thatcher, I wasn't really aware of their faults before she dispelled my parent's belief in the conservatives. But although there may be a few competent MPs, they're all culled before they reach newsworthiness.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who smashed up the house?

              Perhaps I missed one pre-thatcher

              Thatcher was competent, I.M.O. Not only that, she was Three things: Evil, Productive and Competent .... Misery^4.

              Theresa May wants to brand herself as Mrs T. reincarnated (probably from a vat in a secret facility somewhere adding super-powers) but I.M.O. only manages to highlight how much of a screwup and lightweight she is compared to The One. One should in principle be grateful for that - except, IMO, stupid, incompetent people are overall far worse threats than capable but evil people -

              Because "competent evil" has a plan, we can then work to sabotage the plan.

              "Incompetent stupid" have no plans, they are random people, one can never know what they are going to do next, they have no limiters, and they never stop. They are too stupid to realise that not doing anything would be more productive and people would like them more.

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: Who smashed up the house?

                "Theresa May wants to brand herself as Mrs T. reincarnated"

                Which ain't going to work too well as she has neither Mrs T's clear vision, nor her leadership ability (not that I'm a massive Thatcher fan).

                Incidentally, being slightly to the right of the political centre, my favourite Mrs T quote is "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money to spend." Strikes me that you could replace 'socialism' by 'Brexit'.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        subject matter of an Oxford University <b>humanitarian</b> degree graduate

        While I agree with much of your post I'd just mention that it's "humanities". If you think Johnson and Rees-Mogg are humanitarians you might also want to invest in my Bering Strait Bridge project.

        Cameron (and Miliband) did PPE - a bit of philosophy, a bit of politics and a bit of reconomics while spending much of your time down the Union scoring debating points. Fine when politics was an amusing pastime for sons of the peerage too clever for the Army but not clever enough for the Church.

        Johnson did classical literature - reading books from a time around 2000 years ago when slavery was fine, women were oppressed but we're supposed to look up to them because of nude statues and an empire. He managed to get a 2:1, which hardly makes him a genius,

        And Rees-Mogg did history, I'm afraid I can't be bothered to dig out his grade.

        Not one of them therefore has the slightest in-depth knowledge of a real subject which might cause a little humility faced with an unfamiliar subject.

        Kipling 1899:

        "Far called, our navies melt away/on dune and headland sink the fire/lo all our pomp of yesterday/is one with Nineveh and Tyre." He was right.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You're being quite misleading here. UK roads were shockingly bad long before the referendum, and they will be shockingly bad long after, due to a long (20 year) strategic underinvestment.

        I know the likes of you want to blame everything on Brexit, in a similar vein to the BBC, but you're factually incorrect on this one.

  4. xyz

    I know....

    they buy the eu's systems, change the screen colour to brexit blue!

    I'm just gagging to use the brexit gps system...when you get on the ferry at Dover all it keeps repeating is "THAR BE FOREIGNERS!"

    1. Dominion

      Re: I know....

      You mean make a UK copy of an existing system and migrate all the data across? They should get Paul Pester in to manage it, he’s well in with the UK Gov at the moment....

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: the Brexit gps system... Galileo version for EU citizens heading to the UK.

      At the next available opportunity... turn back.

      ***ATTENTION***

      ***Geofence triggered***

      ***System updating***

      ***Loading new local data file***

      Go straight ahead towards Local.

      This is a local area for local people.

      There's nothing for you here.

  5. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Stop talking the country down. This is Britain! Of course we can reproduce all the EU's IT systems in a millisecond, if we pull together.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      if we pull together

      And let's not forget a nice cup of tea, toast and lashings[1] of ginger beer!

      [1] But not in the Tory MP sense..

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Of course we can reproduce all the EU's IT systems in a millisecond, if we pull together ask the Russians.

        TFTFY

  6. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Excuses Excuses.........

    Let's face it even if they had had a clear definition of exactly what needed to change from the day after the referendum they would still be screwing it up now.

    The mess that is the negotiation is just a convent excuse to plaster over the militant incompetence that is a government IT project.

    Their systems were @~*& before Brexit and will be @~$% after the dust has settled the only thing that will change will be the excuses on the press statement.

    1. Joe Werner

      Re: Excuses Excuses.........

      Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

      Seriously: the governments of the EU member states have a say in how the rules are made in the EU, and then they go home and say that "it was the EU wot made us do it". All of them, all member states. It is obvious that they are incompetent OR lying (and that's a logical OR, not an XOR)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        >All of them, all member states. It is obvious that they are incompetent AND lying.

        FTFY

        1. GIRZiM Bronze badge

          Re: Excuses Excuses.........

          "FTFY"

          He said "and that's a logical OR, not an XOR" - do keep up.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

        No, they'll use the excuse that it's due to the inheritance they've received from the nasty EU.

        Hell, Mayhem tried it last week for Windrush. Apparently it was the fault of the government in 2009.

        1. Notrub

          Re: Excuses Excuses.........

          No actually she didn't.

          For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

          What they DID state, quite truthfully, was that previous governments SHARED responsibility - indeed the key administrative change that caused the problem was authorised while Labour were in power - unlikely of course that the then Home Sec knew anything about it, or that TM was aware when the change was implemented.

          BOTH Labour and Tories have for a long period of time, been rather schizophrenic when it comes to immigration, on the one hand cracking down with ruthless fury on any sniff of illegitimate immigration, while on the other, opening doors far wider than any EU or other rules obliged them to, in order to keep pushing the GDP onwards and upwards.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

            So Amber Rudd's various positions on whether there were deportation targets, and the whitewashing of the term 'hostile environment' as 'compliant environment' don't count? Pull the other one...

          2. Smooth Newt
            Stop

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

            You mean after ministers spend two years denying there was any problem at all, when it finally exploded into a front page political crisis the minister in charge of the Home Office tries to shift the blame to her staff for actually implementing her Government's policies? “I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes loses sight of the individual.”

            And it's nothing to do with going for the low hanging fruit to meet targets of people deported because we don't have targets. Until a memo is leaked which reports progress on the “path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year”.

            How is that not dodging?

            1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

              Re: Excuses Excuses.........

              They admitted to a fuck-up (really ? or perhaps an intentional but unjustifiable campaign against a sector of our own nation ?) only when it became impossible to continue to lie so blatantly.

              This is the stuff our politicians are made of.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            "indeed the key administrative change that caused the problem was authorised while Labour were in power"

            As the Home Sec of the time confirmed (maybe the brainwashing does wear off sometimes).

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            "For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging."

            It took them several weeks of dodging, obfuscation and lying to get to that admission - and someone only finally got the chop after the Grauniad released a memo that proved she had lied, several times. (and sadly even then it was a resignation and not a dismissal - presumably so that the government can do as they did to the Disgraced Former Defence Secretary and bring her back in once it's died down)

            Unfortunately the actual architect of the mess still inhabits a large house in Westminster...

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

        This just in — the new universal™ excuse Brussels stops us doing it!

        1. Nano nano

          Re: Excuses Excuses.........

          Remainers stabbed us in the back ....

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            "What have the Remainers ever done for us?"

            That toga, gratias tibi ago.

          2. Nano nano

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            ...would be another excuse ....

          3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            Hey, downvoters - think again. Did Nano nano's sarcasm go over your head ?

            And nano, you're not supposed to stack prefixes like that. The word you want for 10^-18 is 'atto'.

      4. Milton Silver badge

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

        Forlorn hope. I guarantee that as the scale and duration of Brexit's economic damage becomes undeniable (even by politicians), the Brexiter vandals who previously ran away from the flames giggling will leave no falsehood unturned, no absurd spin untwisted, no sophistry or excuse or evasion or deception unpublished as they squirm and lie and blame Europe for the failure. Their lies will make Weimar Germany's "stab in the back" nonsense look tame by comparison. The damage will be everyone else's fault. Somehow, they will try to convince us (and probably will convince themselves) that Brexit would have been a wonderful success among the sunlit uplands of world trade if only those naughty Euros hadn't meanly mismanaged it.

        Our embarrassment of a Foreign Minister, the facile oaf Boris, has probably been rehearsing his excuses for a solid year. After his endless tosh about straight bananas and square tomatoes, he is just the ... man ... to provide a torrent of lying drivel explaining why Brexit was sabotaged despite his noble best efforts.

        (As ever with a certain kind of right-wing "thinking", it never seems to occur to those people that if you have to change the facts and lie to make your point, then you already lost the argument.)

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      just a convent excuse to plaster over the militant incompetence that is a government IT project.

      And by "Government" you actually mean the collection of "The Usual Suspects(TM)" of IT con-tractors the government hires in the continuing delusion they will "save money" ?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Excuses Excuses.........

      "The mess that is the negotiation is just a convent excuse to plaster over the militant incompetence that is a government IT project."

      I think you'll find it was the other way around in a year or so's time. The militant incompetence of a govt IT project will be used to explain the mess that was the negotiation.

  7. John Crisp

    How much

    did they say this is costing?

    Bearing in mind they are working up a number of plans of which only one will be selected.

    And the same across all Departments presumably.

    What a frigging waste of time and cash.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: How much

      "Bearing in mind they are working up a number of plans of which only one will be selected."

      Also bearing in mind the one which will be selected probably won't work so the number will be at least one more than the number they first thought of.

      Multiply that by the number of departments/ ministries and just for the hell of it, double it.

      So the answer to your question while not precise is ; A bloody lot!

      It might be cheaper to apply for 51st Statehood, although with the Tea tax they will levy that won't be cheap either

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: How much

        Yea, but we'll be saving 350 billion euros a day ! So it's cheap !

  8. SVV Silver badge

    Industry should learn from this innovative approach

    Henceforth all requirements gathering should only be completed the day before the delivery date, with the key business stakeholders "holding their cards close to their chest" by not revealing the details of what the systems should do until then, having promised the shareholders that they have taken back control from the "IT Elites" because they've had enough of useless experts, and that anybody who doesn't believe in a vastly more profitable future due to this approach is talkinjg down the company. Then they blame the IT department at the end when the project fails.

    Oh wait, that' what normally happens anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Industry should learn from this innovative approach

      I've been on a project for about 13 months now (as a developer). We now have a (delayed!) go live in 3 weeks time. We've had at least 5 new requirements pushed through in the last week alone (some of which the client must have knows about months ago!). One of the requirements fundamentally makes change in their business process, which means a complete change in some of the current business logic we have in the software we've developed.

      Whilst the software changes themselves are not actually that hard, it's turned into a nightmare for the test team, as they'd developed a full suite of automated tests to cover both the technical, and business processes, and about 50% of these tests won't work once the new release is ready some time late next week. Joy...

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Industry should learn from this innovative approach

        It's called Agile, isn't it? You must be doing it wrong (© Steve Jobs)

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Industry should learn from this innovative approach

          It's called Agile, isn't it?

          Seriously.

          This sounds like Usual Waterfall to me, with run-of-the-mill rapids.

          Every software thing has been like this ever. Management skill resides in whether they succeed in averting the turbine inlet at the end of the intended projectdeathmarch and pulling in mo'money for the late changes.

  9. Herring` Silver badge

    Be fair

    Cut them some slack. The government have only had 679 days to make their mind up. And the EU is not making it any easier by sticking to the exact same position they have had since 2016-06-24 (actually since 2009-12-01)

  10. regadpellagru
    Joke

    I knew it, M'lord, there was a cunning plan

    "In a no-deal scenario, Defra is currently looking at introducing manual processes if IT systems are not ready."

    The cunning plan was to hire brits to do manually all of what was automatised before !

    Cameron was right, it will bring more jobs for brits !

    1. I&I

      Re: I knew it, M'lord, there was a cunning plan

      It’s still software. The first flowcharts were for organising big buildings full of humans. Humans that can inherently cope by mending/bending rules and hiding issues.

      Problem 1: New sets of humans will likewise need to be programmed - with knowledge, processes and training.

      Problem 2: Such approaches might interact ok with similar approaches elsewhere, but how well are they likely to interact with computer based systems ? A ripe scenario for exploitation (as deliberate obstruction).

      Safety Net: Return to Brit default - shouting louder at the foreigners when they “don’t understand” and threatening to take the football (our trade) away. Working well at the moment...

  11. Slacker@work

    If they do come up with a plan...

    ... I wish them the best of luck trying to find contractors willing to sit within IR35 whilst they deliver it all.

    Of course they might just send it all to Capita and Atos, and we know what a top job they will make of it!

  12. codejunky Silver badge

    Shock

    Is anyone surprised? What is the brexit policy? This fairly simple situation has been turned into a mess.

    If it wasnt for the desperation to remain regardless of what it is called this would be clear. We voted brexit, the EU dictated terms to negotiate with them, they were unacceptable terms and so we have nothing to discuss unless the EU changes its mind, hard brexit, there is the policy.

    Unfortunately May stuck her nose in and tried to insist the EU come back to negotiate by agreeing to some money depending on a successful trade deal. So we have an EU still making demands we dont agree with, the obvious route of hard brexit and the ongoing mess that is desperation to remain.

    I expect some people will blame leave voters for this lack of clarity somehow but if they just got on with the referendum result this would not be a question of brexit policy.

    1. desht

      Re: Shock

      You Brexit, you bought it.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Coat

        "You Brexit, you bought it."

        Nice.

        Although I think it needs to be rendered in the appropriate regional accent (Black Country, given how many of them seemed to have voted for it)

        As in "Yo Brx'it, yo buy it"

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: "You Brexit, you bought it."

          This is as usual interesting. The issue is apparently a lack of policy (as the 'negotiations' continue) and that large problem would surely be solved by policy. The lack of policy being due to ongoing 'negotiations' which the EU shows little interest in negotiating. So we hard brexit, policy can be decided and this fairly valid problem is no longer the problem.

          In return are a bunch of downvotes and pointless comments with little value remoaning (I hate the term but it is valid here). Is that because I am right and hard brexit would remove an obstruction to policy?

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: "You Brexit, you bought it."

            Is that because I am right and hard brexit would remove an obstruction to policy?

            No, because "hard brexit" is still just an opinion and not policy.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Shock

      This fairly simple situation has been turned into a mess met reality.

      Yes, I knew you'd come out with the "no true Scotsman" line but maybe not quite so soon.

    3. Dr_N Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Shock

      codejunky> I expect some people will blame leave voters for this lack of clarity somehow but if they just got on with the referendum result this would not be a question of brexit policy.

      Brexiter extremists do deliver the best jokes/laughs!

      Please keep up this great work, as it's the only thing that makes brexit entertaining.

    4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Shock

      A majority of voters did indeed vote brexit.

      For some (unknown) value of brexit.

      Even Teflon May makes fun of it with her recursive definition as she slips and slides whichever way the wind seems to be blowing.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Shock

        @ Adrian 4

        "For some (unknown) value of brexit."

        Very true. The only thing we can be sure of from the vote is some people voted in and some voted out regardless of their visions being compatible. As much as there were differing ideas of out, once out we can vote for parties who represent our wishes and so have some control over it. If we remained the same lack of clarity for the future would exist, but at least with the referendum the voters had some say finally.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Back to school

          some people voted in and some voted out regardless of their visions being compatible.

          I think you need to work harder on those English lessons…

      2. Dave 15

        Re: Shock

        As against the minority that voted for the unknown future within an ever deeper union (i.e. united states of europe). It amazes me that a website supposedly created by IT professionals for IT professionals seems to have such a large number of proEU people. Remember it is the EU 'rules' as applied by HM government that means large IT projects like the NHS take billions of pounds and give it to the French (who then gave a few sheckles to the Indians) all of which resulted in bugger all employment for UK IT professionals. EXACTLY this same pattern has happened time and again with ALL major government IT work going abroad and the UK having some of the lowest IT wages outside of China (would have been Bangalore but these days you can earn more in Bangalore as an IT professional than in most of the UK - especially if you are sad enough to remain down in the west country or even now in Cambridge (where the number sounds good but the cost of housing makes it pathetic).

        Time to remember, if you are actually any good at all you can ALWAYS find employment where you want and you can ALWAYS get a visa to work there. If you are no good you wont find a job however much you trawl the world (including europe) and unlike the UK you wont just be able to turn up in Germany or Italy and settle to a nice life on indefinite benefits. If you want to travel then why not go and visit the whole wide world where the cultures aren't just ours with a funny accent. Same for your holiday.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Shock

          "Remember it is the EU 'rules' as interpreted and applied by HM government that means..."

          @Dave 15 - Sorry to shatter your tirade against the EU, but once again, we have people pointing their finger at the wrong culprit; the real problem hasn't been with the EU but with Westminster. The problem the UK has had is that successive governments have failed to properly engage with and understand the rules of the club they joined. Going off at a slight tangent, the inaction of Westminster over traditional British weights and measures is a very public demonstration of Westminster inaction.

          It wasn't the EU who forced the UK to sell off its gold reserves at a ill-advised time, it wasn't the EU who forced the UK government to sell off it's nuclear know-how and then contract with the Chinese - although it was the EU club rules that at least required the UK government to structure the deal differently, hence why they (once again) went for a French company (EDF) rather than encourage UK industry...

          The problem the UK has - regardless of Brexit, is that Westminster's track record in both protecting UK interests and delivering business to UK HQ'd companies is appalling...

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Shock

      Is anyone surprised? What is the brexit policy?

      Good questions Codejunky!

      Why haven't May and her three monkeys published a hard Brexit execution plan, given what was known when they took office?

      I suspect as others have pointed out they believed their own slogans and thought that the EU would simply let them have the cake and eat it and that actually preparing for a hard Brexit might actually be seen, by Brexiteers, as a lack of faith...

      Additionally, I doubt any of the hard Brexiteers have a plan other than stick two fingers up and walk away to the nearest pub to down another pint of courage.

      The reasons why there is no "Brexit policy" are wholly down to those currently in office - those to whom Brexiteers want to return sovereignty to...

      1. Dave 15

        Re: Shock

        No.

        Down to several factors...

        a) Those who were in power before the referendum who were adamant they couldn't lose because of project fear

        b) The incompetence of the current bunch led by a remain supporter

        c) The quality of the briefings from the pro EU civil service who dont want their shortcomings revealed by the prospect of having no one convienient to blame for their mistakes

        d) The knowledge in government that they will screw the negotiations, rerun the referendum and stay

        e) The EU knowing about all of this and making damned sure they dont negotiate at all.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Shock

        @ Roland6

        "Why haven't May and her three monkeys published a hard Brexit execution plan, given what was known when they took office?"

        I agree 100%. Hard brexit, sort out the laws customs and regulatory changes we want and care about (Not the EU's demands) and anything negotiated is gravy. Instead May keeps going back to the EU asking them to continue negotiating.

        "I suspect as others have pointed out they believed their own slogans and thought that the EU would simply let them have the cake and eat it and that actually preparing for a hard Brexit might actually be seen, by Brexiteers, as a lack of faith..."

        That is possible. As a leave voter I dont believe they were serious about leave. I think they are looking for leave in name at the most. Maybe they are just too incompetent to manage something as serious as brexit? Whatever the reason it all seems to lead to the same place, making nobody happy.

        "Additionally, I doubt any of the hard Brexiteers have a plan other than stick two fingers up and walk away to the nearest pub to down another pint of courage."

        See now this is where it is annoying for me as a leave voter. There was a plan for leave, by the party lead by Farage who actually did all the leg work and finally got us the vote. instead we have this imitation doing oh so well (sarc).

        "The reasons why there is no "Brexit policy" are wholly down to those currently in office"

        100% yes.

        "those to whom Brexiteers want to return sovereignty to..."

        Far too short sighted. Return sovereignty to the country where the electorate vote for their government. Even if this gov is a screw up the only thing we really need them to achieve is brexit.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Shock

          @Codejunky

          There was a plan for leave, by the party lead by Farage who actually did all the leg work and finally got us the vote.

          Yes, it did read well, until you took into consideration reality, like step one, how to actually leave the EU - we forget that "article 50" wasn't widely known about until quite late in the day, hence why everyone grasped at it rather than ask what is our desired end state and what is the best way to get there...

          "Far too short sighted. Return sovereignty to the country where the electorate vote for their government. Even if this gov is a screw up the only thing we really need them to achieve is brexit."

          Disagree, as I pointed out in another comment, Westminster has a rather long track record of screwing things up. The trouble is that whilst I agree with Farage that as Westminster signed various EU treaties without the backing of the UK public, the Leave result is a nice mess of Westminster's making and now has to clear up, I don't see any evidence that Westminster has learnt anything and thus do things differently in future - Brexit or 'fudged' Brexit...

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Shock

            @ Roland6

            "Yes, it did read well, until you took into consideration reality, like step one, how to actually leave the EU"

            Leaving the EU really is easy (without discussing beyond leaving) because the UK can unilaterally do it with absolutely nothing stopping us. As I have pointed out the EU's dictation of terms (money, border, reduced sovereignty) can be completely ignored and not at all complied with and we still have brexit. I am not saying that is or isnt the road to take (I would leave it to the EU to cooperate or not) but the 100% fact is that we dont have to give them anything nor do anything for them and we would still have brexit.

            As for the steps beyond brexit the WTO 'doom' has been shown to be empty and wrong. We are members of the WTO and it sets the maximum tariffs we can apply, we can apply any value below that including zero. Removing the EU protectionist tariffs reduces the cost of food in this country automatically as well as other goods blocked by the tariff wall. And it doesnt stop us from trading with the EU but opens the rest of the world. All of that before we look at trade deals.

            "what is our desired end state and what is the best way to get there..."

            The desire is leave the EU. That is what was voted for. The rest is available for elections to be decided and without EU rules overriding ours (see tariffs as an example).

            "Disagree, as I pointed out in another comment, Westminster has a rather long track record of screwing things up."

            There is a long track record, and it is because we have existed for a considerable amount of time. in its short life the EU is in multiple self inflicted crises and puts off resolving them.

            "I don't see any evidence that Westminster has learnt anything and thus do things differently in future - Brexit or 'fudged' Brexit..."

            Again I agree with you. The gov are so desperate to remain regardless of the result of the referendum. Brexit is very important not just in freeing the country from the EU but also to prove to the electorate that they are relevant. Otherwise we are ruled by the 'chosen few' UK and EU and neither you or I or anyone in the UK has any value as a voter. If it doesnt go ahead we may as well forget having elections since our opinion doesnt matter, the electorate being too stupid/uninformed/racist/lesser mortals. Apply that to any political change you, I or anyone believe in.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Shock

              @Codejunky

              "The desire is leave the EU"

              Leave is an action/journey, not a destination...

              Although to be fair Farage did have a little to say about the sort of Britain he wanted, just that this wasn't more fully developed into a delivery roadmap. However, May et al clearly think that by repeatedly spouting nonsense will somehow make things true; let us hope the Brexit Snark isn't a Boojum...

  13. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    This fairly simple situation has been turned into a mess.

    Yay, fake facts for the weekend! It was never a simple situation and only those hell bent on getting Britain to hell in a handcart claimed it was. Those are the real saboteurs and anyone who claims that True Brexit™ is somehow being sabotaged are the true enemies of the people.

    Whatever deal was negotiated with the EU was, it was always going to mean massive changes to lots of IT systems. But until you know what this will be, you can really start the work. Chaos at the ports, airports, at the farms, etc.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Whatever deal was negotiated with the EU was, it was always going to mean massive changes to lots of IT systems."

      And it was always going to be on the EU's terms because beggars can't be choosers.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      getting Britain to hell in a handcart

      No navigation system required, Galileo or homebrew.

    3. Dave 15

      Wrong

      It was simple, entirely simple.

      We should have left as a nation, we should set up the necessary tariffs, stopped sending the EU money and therefore been able to cut taxes and export.

      The solution now is not much harder...

      a) Sack every civil servant

      b) Sack every MP

      c) Single flat tax and flat benefit run from number 11

      d) 100% tax rebate for any company exporting above 20% of turnover.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Wrong

        Sack every civil servant

        You mean a bit like what happened in Iraq when the Americans got to Baghdad? That worked out well, didn't it?

        Contrary to what you may read in your Daily Rag the majority of civil servants are hard-working, conscientious and doing important work. They're likely to be exasperated by the current lack of policy largely because it stops them doing their job. Consider the demands on customs and excise to come up with a viable solution for the ports and the Irish border even though it is still not clear whether there will be a customs union or border posts.

        OTOH just keep taking the tablets and shouting at the nurses.

  14. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Te plan is...

    There is no plan.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Te plan is...

      Who was it proudly proclaiming there was no Plan B recently ?

      And is May attempting to outdo it by having no Plan A ?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DIT systems

    I wasn't aware that the DIT had systems that delivered anything other than information/advice on some web pages, which would be relatively trivial to update once anything is actually agreed with the EU.

    Anyone know differently?

    DEFRA, on the other hand, seemed to have enough problems with things as they are now, so the users may not even notice the difference.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DIT systems

      "Anyone know differently?"

      You're correct. DIT is a policy and marketing body. It will, in theory, become a trade negotiation body after the exit date. Because who better to negotiate international commercial concerns than government, right?

      The fact DIT and Defra are in the same report is just an administrative coincidence. They presented evidence to PAC on the same day, and have some overlap in their work streams, but those work streams do not have a significant IT component.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We know how to waste LOTS of money on cancelled or useless projects.....

    ....and we also know how to do it OVER AND OVER again. Some examples:

    - https://www.softwareadvisoryservice.com/blog/biggest-uk-government-project-failures/

    - Billions on an aircraft carrier...with NO AIRCRAFT

    *

    So why am I not surprised that we will have LOTS MORE wasted money in the next couple of years?

    *

    And it's also important to note that the people who pay for all this waste are the same people who will have their lives made hell when the next tranche of failed government projects materialise....they are called citizens and taxpayers!

  17. ocratato

    Comedy or Tragedy

    The good news about Brexit is that we will have a supply of Pythonesque comedy scripts that will last for millennia.

    From my distant vantage point Brexit appears to be the best comedy on the planet.

    Then I realise who will end up paying for it all, and a tear comes to the eye.

    1. Nano nano

      Re: Comedy or Tragedy

      We are the only ones who will get it ...

  18. Nano nano

    Preparedness

    Don't you think that UKIP and Rees-Mogg's so-called European Research Group would have had the time (decades...) to have well-thought-out & Researched answers to all these conundrums ?

    Euratom....Galileo ....

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Preparedness

      @ Nano nano

      "Don't you think that UKIP and Rees-Mogg's so-called European Research Group would have had the time (decades...) to have well-thought-out & Researched answers to all these conundrums ?"

      Is the European Research Group the elected government? Farage's UKIP had a plan but they are not the government. The remain supporting Cameron who offered the vote refused any planning on the basis that there was one 'right' answer and they will do all they can to force us to vote that way.

      It is the insistence of having our cake and eat it which is the problem. Aka no brexit even though the voters support brexit and have voted for it.

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

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

    Those brave souls who fearlessly championed walking away from the UK closest neighbours and a trading block of 440 million people in favor of f**k knows what a glorious and brighter future.

    Let their names never be forgotten.

    Along with their great heroes.

    Murdoch of News International.

    Desmond of the Daily Express

    Harmsworth (Viscount Rothermere) of the Daily Mail.

    Whose relentless, endless support has done so much to make this LSD trip vision come to pass.

    The British people will never forget what you did for them, and nor should they.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

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

      Harmsworth (Viscount Rothermere) of the Daily Mail.

      Quite the ominous name.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        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
          Windows

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

          leaves his French Chateau

          By Harry and Boy George!!

    2. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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
      Joke

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

      But

      <gollum>

      We wants it

      We needs it

      We must have hard Brexit

      Precious. (Stroking his hard border)

      </gollum>

      1. I&I

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

        Fed by blind fish

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: The truth is...

      Depressingly accurate.

  22. 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.

    ;)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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

      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.

  24. VicMortimer
    FAIL

    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

      Re: One viable option

      Incorrect.

      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...

  25. 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.

  26. 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

      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.

  27. Dave 15

    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)

  28. Conspectus83
    Flame

    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”.

    *https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/08/brexit_it_cant_be_as_bad_as_rural_payments_mps_told/

    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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