Brexit has turned our government into an Orwellian Ministry of Truth | Polly Toynbee

While businesses struggle with the red tape of no-deal planning, ministers are busy with commemorative coins

Britain is battle-ready for no-deal Brexit, that’s the message. Downing Street gave every department 72 hours last week to present watertight crash-out plans and woe betide any whose ideas blow up later, Dominic Cummings menaced. “Task and finish units” will stress-test each one: tremble at the military-style management speak.

In case anyone dares express a doubt that the nation is 100% ready, a rapid rebuttal unit was launched yesterday by Michael Gove to kill off any “media myths and half-truths”, reports the Sunday Telegraph. It will stamp on such “myths” as the BBC’s report that dairy cows will need to be culled if produce can’t be exported. Or similar warnings that unsalable sheep will be slaughtered when the door to 90% of the UK market slams shut on 1 November. The Cabinet Office, sounding like a Ministry of Truth, will “ensure the public and business is not being alarmed by scare stories or falsehoods”.

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