Civil service must be properly resourced to deliver Government commitments following UK exit from EU, says FDA

In response to the UK's vote to leave the European Union, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

"At this time of political uncertainty, the people of the UK are already understanding the value of a permanent and politically neutral civil service.

"From contingency plans to deal with the inevitable economic turmoil, to shepherding Government through a change of leadership and political directional more fundamental than most General Elections, the civil service will ensure that the functions of Government continue to serve our country and deliver our vital public services.

"Effective Government needs strong political leadership and a civil service with both the capacity and capability to deliver those commitments. The challenge for the civil service on each of those fronts has multiplied with this referendum result.

"As we now begin to consider the process of removing the UK from EU decisions and structures, the Government of the day will be faced with determining what will replace them and how this will be implemented.

"Whether it's negotiating new trade deals with the world, implementing a new immigration policy, creating a new system of farm subsidies or sustaining regional development, the civil service will be tasked with delivering the vision for the UK that will follow this result.

"All sides in this debate recognise that negotiating an exit from the EU will be a complex process, taking a significant amount of both time and resource.

"Whoever leads the Government will need to ensure that they provide the civil service with the resources and expertise necessary to deliver this outcome."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's public servants and professionals at HEO grade and above. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at

4. For further information contact:

  • Dave Penman, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07980 700747.