September 25, 2019 4.19 pm This story is over 54 months old

‘Every effort’ being made to prepare North Lincolnshire for no-deal Brexit

The region is prepared, says council leader

The leader of North Lincolnshire Council said “every effort” is being made with the authority’s partners to have plans in place for the region in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Councillor Rob Waltham said the council is working with emergency planners in the Humber Resilience Forum to have measures in place in order to minimise any impact that a no-deal scenario could have.

The forum, which is made up of businesses and emergency services from across the region, including Associated British Ports, Highways England, local authorities and NHS bodies, has prepared with a plan called Operation Wellington.

Among the measures that fall in North Lincolnshire include using the M180 and Glanford Park in Scunthorpe as lorry holding parks in case of delays at the region’s ports.

Councillor Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Reporter

Councillor Waltham said the plans may never be used, but added the authority will be as “agile” as it can be.

“The challenge is that some of the things that we try to plan for may never materialise but conversely that also means that there might be an opportunity for things to materialise that you possibly could not have conceived,” he said.

“All that we can do with best endeavour is say that we have set a plan, we test against it on a regular basis and we make sure that wherever we need to be agile that we are as agile as we can be with the police and other emergency services.”

Port of Immingham, which could be effected if there is a no-deal Brexit scenario. Picture: Roger Geach.

He added partners are trying to ensure that a system is prepared ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

“Every effort across all the partnerships in the public sector is being put in to try and minimise the impact of us leaving without a deal,” he said.

Operation Wellington

The resilience forum plans, called Operation Wellington, are designed for the “worst case scenario” across the Humber region.

Among the plans are measures to use car parks across the region to act as a “relief valve” if ports in the region face congestion, reported Grimsby Live.

Hull Fair, which can accommodate 350 vehicles, as well as Glanford Park, Scunthorpe, and parking at the Humber Bridge in Hessle would be used for heavy goods vehicles.

Glanford Park stadium, Scunthorpe. Picture: Steve Daniels.

The M180 and two separate stretches of the M62 towards Hull have also been identified as lorry holding areas, should the operation be required.

Hull, Immingham, Grimsby and Goole are among the busiest ports in the UK.

Chris Blacksell, chair of the local resilience forum, told the BBC that planners had been tasked to plan for the “reasonable worst case scenario”.

He added that the planning was not designed to “scare people”.

Leaving the EU “with or without a deal”

The UK is set to leave the European Union on October 31.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal.

But Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and other opposition parties have called for a no-deal scenario to be ruled out.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

North Lincolnshire voted to leave following the referendum held on June 23, 2016, with more than two-thirds of voters in the region backing Brexit.

Since then, the UK has extended its Brexit deadline to October 31 in the hope of reaching a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

Councillor Waltham said it would be “preferable” for the region to leave with a deal.

“I think for us the key thing is getting to October 31 and getting an arrangement made for us to leave the EU, frankly with or without a deal, but we would prefer a deal,” he said.

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