March 22, 2019 4.46 pm This story is over 33 months old

Local Democracy Weekly: No time for talk as ‘no-deal’ Brexit becomes real

Preparations for Brexit need to be stepped up

The question as to whether or not Greater Lincolnshire is prepared for a no-deal Brexit has become more important as the European clock has been left to tick away.

If the UK leaves next week, on April 12 or May 22, the county still needs measures in place for change in the economic outlook and the very real prospect of a no-deal scenario.

It’s a time where we turn to the region’s business and political leaders for guidance.

But depending on where you look, you will get differing answers as to whether or not the county is prepared for a no-deal exit.

The county’s senior councillor for economy, Colin Davie, this week ensured that businesses will be at “low risk” should the UK leave without a deal.

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He insisted that the county is “well prepared”, yet admitted that some will find hardship.

But he added that the council and Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership will be on hand to support those firms.

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development for Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: Steve Smailes

Local authorities will receive funds from the government in the form of Brexit preparation funds.

The county council will receive £170,000 as part of this, while northern Lincolnshire authorities will be given £210,000.

But, the announcement of extra preparation money did not wash with officials in North East Lincolnshire Council.

Former authority leader, Ray Oxby, previously described the country’s leadership as “inept”and said they were hindering any planning that would help prepare for disruption at the Port of Immingham.

A traffic management plan is being produced to mitigate any problems that may happen at the port as part of contingency preparations.

Port of Immingham. Picture: Roger Geach.

But officials on the Humber have been left stuck on detailed planning because no direction from government has been forthcoming.

As the months have rolled on, the outlook seems no different.

No decision has been made on a deal, businesses still see uncertainty and the only thing that is constant is that time continues to pass.

Councils and local partnerships need to be able to prepare, the time for describing no-deal as an “opportunity” or a “disaster” is over.

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