Wrexham.com asked Wrexham Council what plans it was making for Brexit disruption amid reports some local authorities are preparing for ‘social unrest’.
Local councils have expressed serious concerns about their ability to deliver public services in dozens of Brexit impact studies according to a report by Sky News.
Nearly 30 councils responded to a freedom of information request by Sky for their internal Brexit impact studies .
Many of the councils say they are finding it difficult to plan because they are not clear on what the full consequences of Brexit will be due impart to “highly uncertain Brexit negotiations with Europe and within government.”
Social care, border control, food and medicine availability, and even fears of ‘social unrest’ are amongst the implications of which are being considered by those council who responded.
We asked Wrexham Council was asked if it has produced any Brexit impact studies by Sky News, and if so what was the response.
We also asked if the documents existed if we could have copies, or if there were no Brexit assessments for Wrexham is that something the Council was working on ahead of the main Brexit date – and if not why not.
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of Wrexham Council, told us: “While we do not have a single document which assesses the impact of Brexit in general, or a no-deal Brexit in particular, this is obviously something we are very much aware of and the potential outcomes posed by Brexit are often discussed with respect to other matters, rather than in isolation.
“However, given our position, we cannot measure nor assess the possible impacts of a no-deal Brexit on our own. This is something which will very much affect Wales’ regionally, and while Wrexham does have a distinct economy and distinct demographics within Wales, we are so interlinked with not just partner areas in Wales but with others across the UK that Brexit doesn’t affect any one of us in isolation. As such, we don’t feel it can really be considered in isolation.
“To that end, we will work with the WLGA as a pan-Wales forum to outline our position alongside other authorities, and to see what work needs to be carried out in preparation for Brexit. We would also expect the Welsh Government and, fundamentally, the UK Government to provide further guidance on this issue.”
A Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) spokesperson said: “All Welsh local authorities have identified Brexit leads to gather information on the local impact of Brexit in their area. And contingency planning has similarly been extensively discussed at a dedicated WLGA conference on Brexit addressed by Mark Drakeford AM. WLGA also sits on the Expert Stakeholders Panel led by the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns MP.”
“The WLGA will deliver a Brexit Transition Support programme for local authorities, with funding from the Welsh Government’s EU Transition Fund, between now and April 2019. The programme aims to ensure Welsh local authorities are not duplicating work in preparing for Brexit, ensure all local authorities in Wales are equally prepared for Brexit in key sectors, and to establish a more formalised, two-way programme of communication between local authorities and those planning for Brexit in the Welsh and UK Governments. Depending on the outcome of the EU summit in October, and any possible emergency summits before Christmas, activities in the second half of this programme may need to focus on the implications of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on public services and communities.”
“Whilst Welsh councils have taken the initiative to undertake their own analyses of and planning for possible Brexit scenarios, the national messages from central government are confused and qualified. The bottom line is that there is a “making this up as we go along” quality to the deliberations at Westminster. The recent stress on preparing for no deal is a case in point. The WLGA view is that any responsible government would seek to avoid this disastrous outcome at all costs. Because of this uncertainty, it is very difficult for our councils to commit resources until there is a clearer idea of what is needed. The publication of UK Government technical notices to prepare businesses and the public for a No Deal Brexit is long overdue.”
The in / out Referendum saw 41,544 Wrexham people voting to leave the EU and 28,822 voting to remain part of it – with a whopping 71.6% turnout.
For those wishing to relive the 2016 referendum night you can see our on the night coverage here…
Inspired by Deeside.com’s version of this article, we are including this classic explainer of the UK’s relationship with Europe…
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