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16 August 2019

Publish date: 16/08/2019

This week more than 300 council leaders and chief executives virtually met with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick. The live streamed conference discussed Brexit preparations and included minister's George Eustice and Luke Hall from DEFRA and MHCLG respectively as well as the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Home Office. Using the hashtag #BrexitBreifing, Robert Jenrick MP tweeted on Tuesday, "today I hosted the first Brexit briefing for council leaders, chief executives and newly appointed Brexit Lead Officers, Local government has a vital role to play on preparing the country to leave the EU on 31st October'

Brexit Lead Officers were announced last Saturday by the government who are asking local authorities to appoint individuals to liaise with central government to plan for Brexit at speed on a community level. Financial support to cover additional work has not been completely clarified although a funding pledge of 20 million has been made by the government. It is unclear whether this is in addition to the monies already announced. 78% of the existing pledged 58 million has already been allocated.

News reports are claiming that worst case scenarios flagged by the government internally include disruptions in the food supply chain, increasing costs and reduced medication flows for both human and animal treatment together with a high risk of public disorder and community tensions. Concerns still abound around ports, fisheries, agriculture, social care and the economy.

Local Authorities have been making several efforts way before the call for Brexit leads this week including; generating standing items, providing forums, training, website pages and community leaflets. The government has formulated a local government preparedness section on the Ministry's website and the LGA has launched a Brexit advice hub for local authorities including a useful section on no deal implications.

LLG continue work on the EU exit statutory instruments but we really need your help. We want to set up a working hub to share and disseminate information. Let us help you connect to each other, share the workload and identify best practice. If you have undertaken any work or mapping in this area around identification of internal governance arrangements from the scheme of delegation through to authorisations, policy and procedure then please do contact me.

Best wishes

Helen McGrath

Head of Public Affairs