With less than a year to go before the UK leaves the EU there’s still a lot of work to be done to make sure that we get the best deal possible.
Brexit doesn’t mean turning our backs on our European friends after decades of close economic and other links.
But it will mean doing things differently in terms of trade, security, farming, immigration, and many other aspects of national life.
Above all, it’s about taking back control, which is what people intended when they voted Leave in 2016.
While I am sure that we made the right decision, there’s no doubt that there are very real challenges to overcome, not just at international and national level, but also locally too.
I want you to know that we’re determined to have a say in what happens in Lincolnshire following Brexit.
At the county council, we’re fighting for a good deal for our residents and businesses.
That’s why we’ve set up a cross-party Brexit Working Group to make sure that our interests are considered when we leave the EU.
Among the issues we have been examining are the replacement of EU funding streams.
We will be looking at how we can claim our fair share of the money that is no longer being sent to Brussels – this could form part of our Fair Deal for Lincolnshire campaign, which we launched last year to argue for a level playing field for council funding nationally.
We are also examining what the changes in the EU workforce will mean for us and how businesses can adapt.
It is likely that Brexit will herald a big change for farmers in particular, especially after 45 years of the Common Agricultural Policy. We are home to a world-leading food production sector and it is vital that this continues to thrive.
Going forward we will be looking to see what practical measures we can take to support our local economy and complement any government initiatives especially during the transition.
We would also like to see local government representation in the national Brexit negotiations and we are keen to get involved with are what happens with the retaining, amending and repealing of EU legislation.
March 29 2019 is the date for leaving the EU – rest assured we will be fighting for a good deal for Lincolnshire all the way.