Officials accused of copying and pasting chunks of text into Brexit deal agreement


Anti-Brexit campaigners wave Union and European Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Officials have been accused of copying and pasting chunks of text into the Brexit deal agreement.

Experts have spotted buried within page 921 of the UK-EU trade document references to dated computer software in the agreement which are decades old.

Referencing encryption technology, it mentions Mozilla Mail and Netscape Communicator as "modern e-mail software package" - last updated in 2002.

It also recommends the use of SHA-1 as a "hash algorithm" despite the fact it was depreciated in 2011.

The references have led experts to believe key texts have been copied and pasted from old documentation due to the lack of time to secure a deal.

It was reported EU officials were said to have been spending Christmas Day finalising the documents.

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Paul Maunders said: "I wonder how much of UK-EU trade deal has been copy and pasted from old 90s documents".

LSE academic Edmund Schuster tweeted: "Taking the UK into its bright future, using Netscape and SHA-1. This is unbelievable, although perhaps we should be grateful that we haven’t agreed to DNA data exchange via telegraph".

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Edwin Hayward remarked: "Wow! Parts of the Brexit deal seem to have fallen through a time warp from the 1990s (perhaps the same one the antique version of Excel used for track and trace came from?)"

Jed Murphy quipped: "Maybe if you view the Deal on Netscape Navigator it all looks much better. It’s just darned Chrome that makes it look so bad!"

Rob Merrick commented: "This is strange - because Brexit is mostly copied and pasted from the 1950s".

"This is like the ferry contracts shaped from a pizza agreement all over again, isn’t it?" noted another.

"People laughed when I insisted on keeping my old AOL discs..." joked Graeme Casey.

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