Service deliveryLGA publishes Brexit no deal briefing for councils

LGA publishes Brexit no deal briefing for councils

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a briefing document that provides councils with the latest information it needs to plan for a potential Brexit 'no deal'.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a briefing document that provides councils with the latest information it needs to plan for a potential Brexit ‘no deal’.

Given the impasse between the UK government and the EU at the recent Salzburg summit, coupled with the impending Article 50 deadline, ‘no deal’ preparations are becoming increasingly important and valuable. It’s also likely such preparations are to be twin-tracked with the UK/EU negotiations, possibly right up to March 2019.

The Government is therefore making it clear that it would be prudent for all public and private organisations to ensure that they were making preparations for a no deal scenario. To help with this, over the past few weeks, it has published a number of technical papers to ensure businesses and citizens understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

In this paper, the LGA summarises for councils both the ‘knowns’ and ‘unknowns’ under a no deal Brexit scenario for local government from national advice, looking at:

  • The issues that local government needs to address as a result of national advice from the Government (as contained in its “no deal” technical papers).
  • Future announcements on regulatory and legislative change that could affect councils in the run-up to March 2019.
  • Community cohesion and civil contingency

Within the briefing, the LGA discusses how there is the immediate impact of a “no deal”. For example, the imposition of new checks on all goods arriving from or going to the EU could cause traffic backlogs at UK port towns. After the referendum, there was a rise in hate crimes and we would need to assure our communities that we had plans in place for any immediate community reassurance work.

It continues on to say that, in the short-to medium term, there would be scenarios that we would need to think through, such as the possible return of large numbers of largely elderly UK citizens from other parts of the EU, the impact on the local government workforce and key skills needs, and the additional capacity that was needed if more regulatory checks were required to keep on importing from or exporting to the EU.

A number of commentators including the Governor of the Bank of England, have also highlighted the potential macroeconomic consequences of “no deal” arising from trade and currency fluctuations, with impacts to household and business stability. This may lead indirectly to increased pressure on local public services and more challenging prospects for local growth.

The full briefing paper and a handy appendix can be accessed here.

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