August 20, 2019 3.41 pm This story is over 35 months old

County council ‘as prepared as it can be’ for no-deal Brexit

The council said it is making preparations

Lincolnshire County Council is as “prepared as it can be” for a no-deal Brexit, according to the authority’s economy chief.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy and place, said the county council has carried out planning ahead of exit day on October 31, which could see the UK leave without a withdrawal deal.

The authority received £175,000 worth of funding to plan for Brexit and have appointed a “Brexit lead” as well as a working group for the preparations.

A leaked government report on Operation Yellowhammer revealed that the country faced food shortages, price increases and rising costs in social care in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

But, Councillor Davie, an arch-Brexiteer, said the county council is planning for such a scenario in Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire County Council head offices on Newland, Lincoln. Picture: Calvin Robinson

“We are planning as government has told us to for the scenario that we might leave on World Trade Organisation terms,” he said.

“Government has funded all local government to make plans for those eventualities and that is what we are doing.

“I’m very clear that as a council we are as prepared as we can be at this moment in time.

“But, we will be doing more work over the next few weeks with government to make sure that every sector across the Lincolnshire economy and its communities is ready to leave on October 31.”

Councillor Davie said the authority has planned for no-deal in a “sector approach” and has looked at areas such as agriculture, engineering and exporting.

Councillor Davie said the authority has planned for agriculture, engineering and exporting.

He added that the council wants to make sure that farmers can still sell their products and that the “bottom does not drop out of the market”.

The county council is also keen to hear concerns from businesses, said Councillor Davie.

“I’m very keen to hear directly from businesses about issues that will impact on them and their ability to export into the European Union,” he said.

Former Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP,  announced a £56.5 million package to go towards local authorities Brexit planning earlier this year.

The county council received £175,000 in order to prepare for leaving the EU.

The authority’s economy officer, Justin Brown, was also appointed “Brexit lead” in order to liaise with government on preparations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Councillor Davie said the authority will continue to plan with the government “in minute detail” ahead of a no-deal scenario.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is “confident” of striking a deal with the EU ahead of October 31.

Mr Johnson said he was willing to work with Brussels on a deal, but added that if the UK wanted a “good deal” then it must “simultaneously get ready to come out without one”.

The Prime Minister also called on the EU to scrap the Irish backstop as part of the withdrawal deal.

But, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, accused Mr Johnson of risking the “re-establishment of a hard border” by “failing to propose a realistic alternative” to the backstop.

Lincoln’s MP, Karen Lee, took to social media and called on the Prime Minister to return MPs to Parliament and rule out a “catastrophic no-deal Brexit”.

“Theresa May’s deal was a bad deal that’s why MPs, including those in her own party, voted it down,” she said.

“[It’s] time to go back to Westminster and for this government to rule out a catastrophic no-deal Brexit. I’m ready.”

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