Ministers, civil servants made 2,241 trips between Brussels, London.The U.K. government spent almost half-a-million pounds on transport to Brussels due to Brexit negotiations, the Guardian reported Friday.
The newspaper sent a Freedom of Information request to the now defunct Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) that showed the government spent £464,343 ($605,835) on flights and trains between the EU referendum in 2016 and Dec. 31, 2019.
Government ministers and civil servants made 2,241 trips between Brussels and London during the same period.
March 2018 was the most expensive month when former Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was first published and negotiations to solve the issue of the Northern Irish backstop heated up.
“Of course occasional travel is necessary,” Sam Packer of the TaxPayers’ Alliance told the Guardian. “But the scale of cost is ridiculous given the number of British officials permanently based in Brussels.”
A government spokesman said: “Due to the nature of DExEU it was necessary for officials to travel to Brussels.”
In 2017, the Institute for Government estimated the total cost of implementing Brexit could reach £2 ($2.6) billion.