/UK officials’ summer holidays canceled to prepare for no-deal Brexit

UK officials’ summer holidays canceled to prepare for no-deal Brexit

One of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior aides, emailed special advisers to announce all annual leave is off until after October 31 | Toby Melville/AFP via Getty Images

All U.K. government special advisers have had their summer holidays canceled as Downing Street ramps up preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

Eddie Lister, one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior aides, emailed the special advisers Thursday night to announce all annual leave is off until after October 31 — when Johnson has promised to quit the EU, “do or die.” Those with holidays already booked will be compensated for money already spent.

Most senior officials in government had already canceled leave plans, according to No. 10 sources.

“This is a serious time for the country,” one official said. “We are all incredibly privileged to have these jobs and we need to be getting on with it.”

The move, first reported in POLITICO’s London Playbook, appears to be a further ratcheting up of pressure on the special adviser class, who have been complaining about increasing pressure from Johnson’s other de-facto chief of staff, Dominic Cummings.

Separately, London Playbook reported that Johnson is planning to conduct regular Facebook Q&A sessions with the general public, answering questions in real time over a live video stream. The events, to be branded “People’s PMQs,” are expected to start within the next few weeks.

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