COSLA President comment on Brexit readiness

COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison said:

"COSLA’s position was a strong one for remaining a member of the EU.

"However we started contingency planning with and on behalf of our membership immediately the decision to leave was taken.

"Despite the uncertainty Brexit is causing, councils continue to deliver essential services to their communities.

"We have a lead responsibility with the NHS on health and social care.  The sector is under considerable workforce stress and this will become a bigger issue with a significant percentage of staff having non UK EU citizenship. It is widely known that the registration of such workers has dropped since the EU Referendum and the drop in value of the pound. We have similar fears for teaching staff and then more broadly the local economy.

"Another significant worry is about the long term replacements for European Social and Infrastructure funding. While we have reassurances that something will be in place for 2020, it is really not that far away and we have little detail about how this will work through.

"The last general concern we have is about the replacement legislative framework covering what is currently shared across the EU.  COSLA and Scottish Local Government have had a valuable role in influencing these and the way the regulatory regime is run through the Committee of the Regions.  

"In all these areas and over a long period of time we have been working with the UK and Scottish Governments and even one of the advisory bodies (the Migration Advisory Committee) to ensure our voice is heard and to reduce the considerable uncertainty that surrounds us leaving the EU. However real scenario planning will only be possible once agreement over the transition period has been reached and afterwards when we know better what the replacement trading arrangements are going to be."

Article published: 
Tue, 18/09/2018 - 11:43