United Kingdom ministers set to pull plug on European Union meetings from September 1

Brexit Party advert challenging the Tories over the Withdrawal Agreement

Brexit Party advert challenging the Tories over the Withdrawal Agreement

The announcement comes after ministers announced that United Kingdom officials will stop attending "most EU meetings" from 1 September, in a move the Department for Exiting the European Union said would allow them to "focus on our future relationship with the EU and other partners around the world".

Parliament will resume their session in September, lending to the sense of urgency. This sentiment is being upheld as a key reason, with diplomatic time being prioritised elsewhere to prepare for the outcome of October 31st.

Up to 250,000 businesses have never completed a customs declaration form, which would be required after a no-deal Brexit to continue trading with the European Union.

As the PM has promised in the House of Commons in July, as a departing Member State it makes sense to "unshackle" officials from these European Union meetings to enable them to better focus their talents on our immediate national priorities.

Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer, is in Germany this week to reiterate his call for the Irish backstop plan to be scrapped to chancellor Angela Merkel. "Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it".

DExEU said the decision was "not intended in any way to frustrate the functioning of the EU" and that votes would be delegated in ways that would not obstruct ongoing business for the remaining 27 countries.

Less than 50% of UK-based businesses have begun making contingency plans for a potential no-deal Brexit.

But Johnson said he will continue to attend meetings in which the UK's vital interests are at stake, such as those about security, sovereignty and global relations.

The allocations have been based on a number of factors including the expected impact on the local area, the amount of European Union goods received by port areas into the country and the areas wider importance to the UK's trade network.

"Our diligent, world-class officials also spend many hours preparing for them whether in reading the necessary papers or working on briefings".

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said: "From now on we will only go to the meetings that really matter, reducing attendance by over half and saving hundreds of hours".

Boris Johnson says the money will help ensure areas are fully prepared for Brexit on 31 October.

The UK now has 71 days left to approve a withdrawal agreement.

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