OPINION

Our council and city will pay the price for Brexit uncertainty

This week has been an unedifying fiasco for all in politics: a government in chaos, the official opposition sitting on the fence.

With less than eight months until the proposed “exit” date from the European Union, we are no clearer about what it will mean for our city, residents or the country.

It’s those of us left at the sharp end of government decisions – or indecisions – at council level who will, as ever, pay the price.

One of the reasons Greens campaigned to stay in the European Union was our concern that Brexit would hit the poorest hardest.

Our concern is sadly justified: the governor of the Bank of England has said that households are already more than £900 worse off because of Brexit.

The Local Government Association calculates that local communities face an £8.4 billion funding gap from the point when the UK exits the EU.

Councils around the country are already beginning to fail due to cuts from the Conservative government.

Just this week we learned that Somerset Council is likely to join Northamptonshire County Council in going bankrupt.

Councils need a further £8 billion by 2025 just to stand still, never mind pay for the rising cost of adult social care. We cannot withstand a Brexit double whammy too.

Green councillors have repeatedly raised concerns about the impact of Brexit on local councils. With such Brexit uncertainty, who can plan for the future of local services, never mind make wise business decisions?

It is time to drag Brexit back to the drawing board, so that councils like ours and the people we serve have our say and stand a chance in the future.

Thanks to a Green proposal, Brighton and Hove City Council became the first to back a “people’s vote”.

The times are uncertain but we must be focused and vocal, as our city stands to be so dramatically affected.

Join Green MEP Keith Taylor at a public meeting on “Brexit – what it means for Brighton and Hove” – next Wednesday (18 July) at 7.30pm, at the Brighthelm Centre. All welcome.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty is convenor of the opposition Green group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Steve Hill Reply

    A ‘People’s Vote’.

    Didn’t the people vote for Brexit – or were you on the moon?

    The people have decided – don’t like the decision?

    Fly back on your pedal power spaceship to another planet ….

    • Ex Tory Voter Reply

      The people voted to stay in the EU in 1975, so why didn’t you all accept it and stop whining about things for the next 40 odd years?

      On the other hand, given that you all did whine, then in a DEMOCRACY, people who still oppose the results of the 2016 NON-BINDING REFERENDUM, which was allowed without a “Super majority” clause as it was only intended to inform Parliament, shall and must feel free to continue to voice their legitimate concerns about this referendum, and I might add, the activity of the recently found guilty Vote Leave / beLeave and Veterans for Britain campaign groups!

      There is NO Brexit dividend, and it will negatively impact the UK economy as senior Tories like Priti Patel (a Brexiteer) have already admitted in the last couple of weeks.

      How much more evidence do you need, and we haven’t even left yet, but the UK is now the lowest growing economy in the G7 when immediately prior to the referendum it was the fastest… Coincidence I guess you will say.

      Wake up and smell the coffee, the only people who gain from Brexit are the Tax exile Billionaires who are paying for it and their lackies.

  2. SamC Reply

    No signs of it yet Phelim. This city is fabulously resilient. I wish to remain but if the majority does not, this city is well placed to make the best of it. B&H WILL thrive not matter what the naysayers who wish to put us down say. Encouragement and vision needed right now.

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