Sheffield Council plan for no deal Brexit

Sheffield Council is planning for a no deal Brexit and looking at how they can protect services and communities.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 12:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 4:16 pm
Pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit protesters hold flags as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 14, 2019 as members debate a motion on whether to seek a delay to Britain's exit from the EU. - MPs vote on March 14 on whether to seek a Brexit delay, as the chaotic process to end Britain's 46-year membership of the EU plunges the country into deep political crisis. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

In a report updating councillors on their preparations for the country leaving the European Union, the council said the worst hit will be food and medicine supplies, small and medium sized businesses, EU citizens and social care.

Chris Lowry, police and improvement officer who wrote the report, said: “It is not clear at the time of writing what form of Brexit the UK will ultimately take. It is however appearing increasingly likely that the UK will leave the EU under a no deal scenario and as such, SCC is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the effective provision of services for the city’s residents.”

The council was given £315,000 from central government for Brexit preparations to tackle the risks. So far it has spent it on funding two international trade advisors to provide advice to businesses, employing temporary staff to deal with public queries in the event of a snap election, providing EU nationals with help to apply for Settled Status and working with the voluntary sector to identify support – particularly with food and fuel.

Their report also highlighted concerns donations to foodbanks would drop at a time of ‘historic need’.

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Small and medium sized businesses are expected to be hit hard and the council said most are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach due to uncertainty. There are also concerns the extension to the deadline for when the country leaves the EU has meant businesses will not be as prepared as they were for the previous March deadline.

The report will be discussed at a economic and environmental scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday, October 22 from 4.30pm.