Majority of public services not receiving enough information from the Government to plan effectively for Brexit


Three quarters (75%) of public service leaders feel the government hasn’t engaged with their organisation enough over Brexit, according to a new survey released by CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.  

The results indicate this lack of engagement is hampering the ability of public service leaders to plan effectively for Brexit, as almost half (44%) believe they are receiving an insufficient amount of information.

It is no surprise then that three quarters (75%) of public services leaders are feeling more negative about Brexit than they did a year ago.

Commenting on the results, chief executive of CIPFA Rob Whiteman said: 

“It’s now been two years since the Brexit vote and fourteen months since Article 50 was triggered, yet the vast majority of public services leaders still feel that the government is keeping them in the dark. 

“As the government must want a Brexit dividend to be a more sustainable and effective public sector, it is crucial that light is shed on what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will look like and soon. Otherwise, public service leaders won’t have the time or information to respond.”

Julia Goldsworthy, who chairs CIPFA’s Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services, said:

“It is critical that communication channels are open between the government and public service leaders over Brexit. Not just to ensure that public services leaders have an adequate level of information to plan effectively, but also to help identify reform opportunities presented by Brexit that will help organisations better meet the needs of the communities they serve.”


For further information please contact Saskia Black on T: 020 7543 5830 or email 

Notes to editors

CIPFA’s Brexit public service leaders preparedness survey also found that: 

  • Half of public service leaders think Brexit will have a major impact upon the policy that shapes their sector. Eighteen percent think it will have a severe impact and 16% a minor impact.
  • Forty-two percent of public service leaders aren’t sure if there will be opportunities to reshape key policy and regulation for the better post Brexit. A third think there won’t be, but a quarter think there will be.
  • Almost half of public service leaders think Brexit will have a negative impact on the availability of labour and skills, 17% a highly negative impact. A third say there will be no impact either way.
  • Most (60%) public service leaders aren’t budgeting for Brexit in their medium-term financial plans, but a third are
  • A large majority (83%) think Brexit will be highly detrimental or detrimental to public services, whereas just 5% consider it highly beneficial or beneficial. 12% think there will be no impact.
In the autumn, as we approach the timetable for a final Brexit deal, the Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services will examine whether the draft deal will change public services to more effectively meet the needs and expectations of communities.

More information on the survey

We asked 282 public service leaders (such as CFOs, CEOs and directors) from the following organisations: 

  • local government
  • housing associations
  • NHS, clinical commissioning groups, social care services
  • Central government
  • education services (secondary schools, multi-academy trusts, further education colleges and universities)
  • police  
  • fire and rescue services
  • non-departmental public bodies.      

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).