Downing Street has hired media agency MullenLowe to carry out a “shock and awe” campaign to prepare the public for a no-deal Brexit.
According to a government strategic communications dossier the first ‘blast’ of information will be rolled out in July focussing on the “consequences and opportunities” of a hard exit.
The campaign is part of a five-point plan by the government to prepare the country for a clean break from EU institutions by December 31 and has been drawn up by the same group who were behind the “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign which attempted to prepare businesses last year.
A government watchdog called the £46 million campaign a “waste of time” earlier this year, saying there was no evidence it resulted in the public being significantly better prepared.
Lack of preparation
The initiative comes following dire government polling in October showing that 61 per cent of UK businesses had not yet accessed information on preparing for a no-deal.
In fact, up to 74 per cent of adults made no effort at all and planned not to.
One problem identified in the tender is that voters who backed Brexit are less likely to make preparations for it because they don’t believe Britain’s departure from the bloc will have negative consequences.
Most important government campaign this year
“The Transition Campaign is the most important government campaign this year,” the document, which was found on a government procurement database, read.
“With nine months to go, now is the time to ensure that clarity and certainty is communicated wherever possible about what will happen at the end of the year. Therefore we need to frontload preparation wherever possible, and ensure that any early misunderstanding is ironed out and appropriate actions are taken.”
One of those objectives is to convince Brussels officials that the UK was prepared to leave the transition period without a deal.
Others focused on minimising short-term disruption and implementing new protocols and procedures.