The government has paused its £100 million advertising campaign that encouraged the nation to make sure they were ready for the UK to leave the European Union on 31 October, finally admitting the UK will not leave the UK by that date.
Boris Johnson won the Conservative leadership contest promising his supporters that the UK would leave the EU by Halloween “do or die”. After he became Prime Minister in July, Johnson pushed on with his claims that the UK would leave the EU by the 31 October and greenlit a £100m advertising campaign with billboards, television, print, and online ads to remind the public of his promise.
The government also spent millions contracting call centre operators around the country to call every business that buys from or sells to the EU that they would need to prepare for Brexit, but without much information on how to prepare as any new regulations or tariffs remain unknown. A website was created to guide businesses on what to do in the event of no-deal Brexit, but the information on offer remains vague. Almost every business in the UK will likely be affected by Brexit, ffrom traditional businesses owners like farmers and manufacturers to digital services like social media firms and online casino operators, but until a deal has been agreed nobody knows what the future UK-EU relationship will look like for which they need to prepare.
After what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described as “£100m of misspent public money”, the government has finally paused its ‘Get ready for Brexit’ advertising campaign.
The campaign was controversial from the start, with the Advertising Standards Authority receiving hundreds of complaints that the campaign was misleading. And in a report published last week, the National Audit Office said the government’s advertising campaign had had “limited impact” because it was launched too late to be effective for the 31 October Brexit date.
The public accounts committee is now reported to be investigating the effectiveness of the campaign and whether it was a good use of public funds that could have paid the salaries for an estimated 3,000 nurses.
Meanwhile, a majority of MPs have now said they will agree to a December election in the hope that a change of arithmetic will break the deadlock in parliament so that a solution to Brexit can be found before the next “Brexit date” of 31 January 2020.