I have written to the Council’s Chief Executive asking him to give details of the contingency plans being drawn up by the Council and its partners in the City to deal with the effects of Brexit, especially in the short term of an unplanned withdrawal on 31st October.
I’ve particularly asked particularly about the effects of transport; the NHS and Social Care; food distribution and fuel distribution. He has also asked for full details of the costs of planning; how much has or will be received from the Government and how much the Council expects to pay out to actually deal with the effects of Brexit.
In practice, of course, there are many other bad consequences of Brexit that the Council and its partners will have to deal with these include:
- Reduction in tourism including visitors to our football clubs
- The ability of people from the EU who have lived here for years to remain and work here
- The effects on our 3 Universities of reductions in students and research funding
- The effects on our environment when the Government is released from what it considers to be onerous restrictions on industry
You will have heard and seen in the media today that all over the Country hard pressed councils and our partners in organisations like the Police and Emergency Services have been spending money to deal with a car crash of a policy which our own Government is creating. The Government’s response is bluff and bravado with no real sense of commitment and nothing like the money needed to cover our costs.
My biggest concern is that the people with the least money will be the ones that suffer most as food chains are broken and the costs of food, fuel and other basic supplies will rise. Already we know that shortages have begun to develop in medicines and isotopes for therapy treatments. Our NHS and social care sectors have huge numbers of vacancies caused by people from continental Europe either going back to their Countries because of the insecurity they face or not coming here in the first place,
The people of Liverpool need to know what the contingency plans are for the City so that each of us can, in turn, make our own contingency plans
The text of my letter to the Chief Executive is given here:
I read with horror the leaked document from the Government in regard to both a no deal Brexit or a Brexit in the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the former PM.
I know that all Councils have been tasked with doing their own contingency plans for the two eventualities above. I am sure that you will agree with me that the people of Liverpool would be much reassured to know what the Council has been doing in this regard.
I would be grateful therefore if you would send me a copy of the current contingency plan for the City or if it does not exist in the form of one coherent plan could I have the separate reports on:
1. Transport matters including the knock-on effects of people in our air and sea ports and ferry terminals relating to visa requirements and effects on road and rail transport caused by customs problems.
2. Food distribution problems to shops and supermarkets given a likely break down in ‘just in time delivery’. In particular looking at the effects on people with lower incomes caused by food price rises in addition to food shortages.
3. Problems with the NHS and social care caused by the freedom of movement restrictions for both skilled and unskilled which are causing huge strains in the sectors as people decide to return to continental Europe or not come and work here in the first place.
4. Potential problems with fuel distribution of gas from Scandinavia electricity from the Continental super connectors with an especial focus on those who are poor or in ill-health.
5. How much has the Council and its partners already spent on contingency planning? How much has the Government given us to date? How much will today’s announcement give us? What are the estimates of the actual costs to the Council and its partners in dealing with Brexit?
I know that there are many other facets to the withdrawal from the EU but these are the ones which seem to me to be most urgent because they are the most immediate.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats