Britain is in preparations for a no-deal Brexit by spending an extra 2.1 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) to make sure the country is ready to leave the European Union by the end of October.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took power last week, has pledged to leave the trading bloc without an agreement in three months unless the EU agrees to renegotiate the deal agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.
In his first major policy announcement, new finance minister Sajid Javid said the extra money will fund a nationwide advertising campaign, ensure the supply of vital medicines, help Britons living abroad, and improve infrastructure around ports.
“With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready,” Javid said. “We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop. But if we can’t get a good deal, we’ll have to leave without one.”
The finance ministry said the new money will “turbo-charge” no-deal preparations. Among other initiatives, 434 million pounds will be spent to ensure vital supplies of medicines and medical products can be brought into the country, including hiring additional freight capacity, warehousing and stockpiling.
To get people and businesses ready for a no-deal Brexit, 138 million pounds will be spent on one of the biggest peacetime advertising campaigns and provide extra consular support for citizens living overseas.
A total of 344 million pounds will be spent on new border and customs operations, including hiring an extra 500 border force officers and doubling the support for customs agents to help companies fill in customs declarations.
The finance ministry also said a further 1 billion pounds will be available for government departments and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to improve their readiness.
This means the government has in total allocated 6.3 billion pounds to prepare for a no-deal exit, including 4.2 billion pounds of funding for this financial year.