Just imagine what 16,000 local government staff and £1.5bn could have achieved – then show me anything useful which has come out of the deployment of the resources referenced in this story which tells us:

The government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn.

The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits after article 50 was extended until Halloween.

More than 16,000 civil servants in total have been working on Brexit.

The Labour party’s Hilary Benn said it was a “costly price” to pay for Theresa May’s belligerent insistence of keeping a no-deal on the table.

“It was important to plan for all contingencies, but this is the huge cost of the prime minister repeatedly saying: ‘My deal or no deal’ when she knew that leaving without a deal was not in the national interest. This is one example of how Brexit is proving to be very costly for our country,” said Benn, chair of the influential Brexit select committee.

The Cabinet Office made the decision to reverse the no-deal plans at a meeting on Thursday morning.

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