U.K. Brexit Department Hires 328 Staff as It Prepares for Talks

  • Bloomberg got response to a freedom of information request
  • Prime Minister May needs to bolster team ahead of negotiations

The U.K. Brexit Department said it’s hired 328 people since its formation last July as it braces for two years of intensive negotiations with the European Union to hammer out the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

Sixty-two of them came from the government’s Cabinet Office, with the Foreign Office providing 29, the ministry, whose full name is the Department for Exiting the European Union, said on Friday in a reply to a freedom of information request by Bloomberg. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy supplied 24 employees, and 23 came from the Home Office.

Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to trigger Brexit talks by the end of March by invoking Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. She spelled out her negotiating strategy in an official document to Parliament this week, guided by 12 principles she laid out in a speech in January.

She’s planning to pull Britain out of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, but has instructed her team to negotiate the closest possible relationship with the bloc’s remaining 27 nations after Brexit.

“We will be appropriately staffed to deal with the task at hand and all aspects of the forthcoming negotiation,” the department said in its statement.

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