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EU Exit: Get ready for Brexit Campaign

Inquiry

On 1 September 2019 the government launched the Get ready for Brexit public information campaign, to prepare the public for a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU across a range of issues. The campaign was stopped on 28 October when the government and EU agreed an extension to the UK’s membership of the EU to 31 January 2020. The campaign was led by the Cabinet Office, and had a budget of £100 million - including £57 million for an air campaign (targeting everyone), and £26 million for the ground campaign (targeting specific groups required to take specific actions). By the end of October, at the point at which the campaign was stopped, £46 million had been spent against an expected spend of £53 million by that point.

The NAO’s report on the campaign found that the Cabinet Office worked at great pace to prepare and launch a large, complex campaign. It established a dedicated team to coordinate and work closely with departments to integrate messages from across government, getting them to work together effectively to coordinate what needed to be communicated to their respective target audiences.

The NAO’s report also found that as a result of the campaign, the public was more aware of some of the things they might need to take action on. However, the Cabinet Office could not demonstrate that the air campaign resulted in significantly better preparedness. The impact of the campaign is likely to have been reduced by the public’s reading of political events in the weeks leading up to 31 October and the likelihood of a no-deal exit.

The Committee will be questioning the Cabinet Office on the performance metrics for the campaign. The Committee will also explore what lessons the Government has learnt from the campaign, and how the Cabinet Office will ensure value for the taxpayer by targeting resources in future campaigns.