County accused of “not fulfilling duty” over Brexit impact

Liberal Democrat campaigners have accused Lincolnshire County Council of not “fulfilling its duty” after it refused to reveal its latest Brexit impact assessments.

The county council claimed the release would have a “chilling effect” on officers, following an FOI from John Bland, the chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the European Movement.

Officials said the council had, however, carried out a risk assessment in the event of a no-deal Brexit and had been told by the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum that the county was at “low risk”.

Liberal Democrat members, including prospective parliamentary candidates for Lincoln Caroline Kenyon, and Sleaford & North Hykeham’s Oliver Craven, have now made further calls for the assessments to be released.

The party accused the council of “arrogance of the highest order”, adding: “There are just three weeks to go before we are due to crash out of the EU with no deal.

“There is literally no time to waste in making preparations or sharing information.”

They added: “The people of Lincolnshire have every right to know, in detail, what provision is being made for their security and wellbeing.

“It is the supreme duty of government, both national and local, to protect the British people from harm.

“We have, as yet, no evidence to reassure us that the county council is fulfilling that duty.”

The group has concerns over food, medical drugs and provision of care for the elderly after Brexit.

They pointed to the Government’s own assessment Operation Yellowhammer, which was released in September following a vote by MPs.

Liberal Democrats general election candidates Oliver Craven and Caroline Kenyon. Photo: Lincoln, Sleaford and North Hykeham Liberal Democrats

They said it “paints a terrifying picture of what will happen in the circumstances of no-deal.”

Last week, Lincolnshire County Council said it was working with partners to ensure it was prepared.

Justin Brown, assistant director for growth at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “At this stage, it’s difficult to predict the exact impact on the county, and it would be inappropriate for us to speculate publicly on what the consequences of a no-deal exit might be.

“However, we continue to consider the possible outcomes and how we can make the transition as smooth as possible.”


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