Multimillion-pound ‘get ready for Brexit campaign’ had little impact, says spending watchdog
- Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images
The 'get ready for Brexit' campaign last October had very little impact on the public's level of preparedness for Brexit, the Whitehall spending watchdog has found.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said ministers spent £46 million on the "get ready for Brexit" campaign ahead of the UK's expected EU withdrawal date of October 31st.
The campaign was ordered by Boris Johnson after he became prime minister last July with a promise to leave by the end of October "do or die".
Ministers chose the most expensive of four options put forward by the Cabinet Office with a total budget of £100 million.
The Cabinet Office estimated that it reached 99.8% of the population, with every member of the public having the opportunity to see the adverts 55 times.
You may also want to watch:
But the NAO said the numbers of people looking for information about Brexit did not notably change - ranging from 32% and 37% during the campaign, to 34% when it stopped.
The head of the NAO Gareth Davies said: "At short notice, the Cabinet Office successfully corralled multiple government departments to work together effectively and launched this complex campaign at great speed.
- 1 Tory MP blames 'chaotic parents' for children going to school hungry
- 2 Boris Johnson 'hid in bedroom' to avoid grilling on Brexit stance days before becoming PM
- 3 Danny Dyer praised for criticisms of Tory party - pointing out Etonians can't run the country
- 4 George Osborne says it is 'game over' for Boris Johnson over free school meals
- 5 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 6 Liz Truss' department slammed for false claim about cost of soy sauce after Brexit
- 7 Andy Burnham could have been 'halfway through tenure as PM by now', claims commentator
- 8 Minister sparks concerns about pig semen after Brexit
- 9 Minister says he 'doesn't understand' accusation he's starving kids in holidays
- 10 Piers Morgan calls Boris Johnson a 'blustering buffoon' in attack on PM's handling of Covid-19 pandemic
"However, it is not clear that the campaign resulted in the public being significantly better prepared."
A government spokesman said: "The Get ready for Brexit campaign reached 99.8% of the UK population and the NAO's findings showed increased public awareness of the action they needed to take to be ready to leave the EU.
"Not undertaking the campaign would have risked significant and unnecessary disruption to businesses and to people's lives."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.