"On preparations specifically for leaving the EU without a deal, you will rightly be guided by the cabinet secretary and by your own permanent secretaries about continued planning. Necessary preparations for a no-deal outcome must continue, though with sensibly adjusted timescales given the extension we have agreed," May said in the letter, as quoted by The Guardian and other UK media.
The letter comes after the Sky News broadcaster reported on Friday, citing official correspondence, that no-deal contingency plans were being wound down by the government "with immediate effect" in light of the new Brexit delay.
The prime minister also thanked civil servants for their work on Brexit preparations and expressed hope that they would manage to "take advantage of a well-deserved break over the Easter Holiday."
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Meanwhile, the newspaper noted that some 16,000 civil servants had been redeployed or recruited to perform no-deal related work, with the fate of approximately 4,500 new recruits uncertain if the contingency plans were scrapped.
London was given a flexible Brexit extension until October 31 during the European Council special meeting, which took place on April 10. At the same time, the country is obliged to hold European elections in May if it does not leave by that time or withdraw without a deal on June 1.
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Originally, the United Kingdom was supposed to have left the bloc on March 29, however, the May government failed to secure support for its divorce agreement before the deadline, which prompted London to seek an extension to avoid a no-deal scenario.
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