Brexit update from the deputy leader
Deputy leader Cllr Brigid Jones has contacted Birmingham City Council elected members and external partners with an update about Brexit preparations for the city and region.
Although there has been an extension of Article 50 up to 31 October, there remains much uncertainty about the UK’s future relationship with the EU, and the situation is changing regularly. I am writing to update you on what Birmingham City Council has been doing with our partners to prepare for Brexit in this climate.
In December we published an analysis of how Brexit was likely to affect Birmingham and the wider West Midlands Region. You can read that here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/330/independent_brexit_impact_analysis
Since then, there have been two main strands of work – one looking at public services, and one looking at the wider regional economy.
For public services, our regional Brexit Commission is overseeing a series of specialist working groups covering the areas most likely to be impacted. These groups have been analysing the government’s technical notices and pooling knowledge and intelligence from across the region to fully understand and draw up contingency plans to deal with keys risks associated with these areas. These are made up of local authority officers from across the West Midlands, and cover specialist areas such as adult social care, trading standards, environmental health, procurement and European funding.
The government’s published information can be found below, and I would encourage you to share the links below with organisations and community contacts.
For the wider economy, the West Midlands Mayor has set up an Economic and Business Advisory Group which includes partners including Chambers of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnerships, industry representatives and local authority leaders, including myself as Vice-Chair. The focus of this group is planning for a no-deal Brexit, and to identify what resources and help the government should be providing to help businesses through the transition.
As a result of the latest Article 50 extension we now know that local authorities could be overseeing European elections in May, and officers are working hard to prepare for this. Along with most other local authorities, I will be urging the Government to provide adequate extra funding if needed for short-notice preparations so that we don’t have to divert money from much needed services.
Finally, on a more personal note: Over the last two hundred years, people from every corner of the world have come to Birmingham and made it their home. It’s what makes our city unique and incredible. Brexit doesn’t change that, and to our colleagues who are EU nationals: you are our friends and neighbours, valued members of our council and city, and you will always be welcome here. Please make sure you have claimed your Settled Status, and if you know any vulnerable or elderly EU nationals who may not be able to do this themselves, please help them at: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Councillor Brigid Jones
Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council