Councils warn of ‘economic shocks’ from no-deal Brexit

Anti-Brexit demonstrators form a chain along Whitehall in London on November 5, 2018 | Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Councils warn of ‘economic shocks’ from no-deal Brexit

A Local Government Association report says councils fear they are being kept in the dark by Whitehall on no-deal planning.

By Charlie Cooper

11/7/18, 8:45 PM CET

Updated 11/8/18, 5:55 PM CET

LONDON — Councils in England and Wales are lobbying the U.K. government for help to avoid “local economic shocks” in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a report prepared for the Local Government Association (LGA) board.

The document, which was discussed at an October meeting of the organization’s leadership board, warns of “stark” issues facing councils and raises concerns they are being kept in the dark by Whitehall on major aspects of no-deal planning.

It predicts that councils may not find out “the detail of Brexit” until “the last minute” and that preparations for “local economic shocks or emerging local opportunities [may] need to be developed quickly.” In some cases, it may already be too late for councils to train staff to cope with changes in time for a possible no-deal Brexit in March 2019, the document, which has not previously been reported, warns.

‘Stark’ concerns

The LGA, which represents English and Welsh local councils in their dealings with central government, has told Whitehall that its heavily publicized no-deal “technical notices” do not cover key issues and that more advice papers are needed “to address the impact across all services at a local level,” the report adds.

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