We need to show leadership as Brexit looms

The Supreme Court ruling has established that the Prime Minister of this country suspended Parliament to silence the Brexit debate.

This means that in his 64 days as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has lost every vote in Parliament, lost 23 MPs and his capacity to govern – and advised the head of state to act unlawfully.

Never has politics been less attractive or productive.

Away from the noise in Westminster, it is vital that – as community champions – councillors discuss Brexit as the situation evolves.

So we have called an extraordinary council meeting next Thursday (3 October).

If you can’t make the meeting, we want to spark the conversation with as many residents and local businesses as possible about how the city and partners are preparing for Brexit – if and when it happens.

We welcome the work already under way between the council and other organisations through the Sussex Resilience Forum.

New information is being shared online at brighton-hove.gov.uk/brexit.

However, we continue to have specific concerns about the way that Brexit will affect our small businesses and tourism, vulnerable residents, supplies of fuel, foods and medicines and support for our European Union citizens.

Way back in October last year we asked the government to give us assurances about jobs and livelihoods.

Figures from the UK Trade Observatory tell us that a “no deal” Brexit could mean the loss of 3,950 jobs in Brighton and Hove.

That’s why we’ve repeatedly called for a freeze on small business rates if the UK departs the EU.

And of course in 2017 we became the first English council to call for a “people’s vote”.

The council’s analysis and the government’s assessments confirm what we have been saying all along: as a city we simply cannot afford Brexit.

Between a deal that will mean hardship for our city and no deal that will mean catastrophe, we demand an end to this chaos.

The Conservative government has failed to lead but our council can still show leadership and give our communities a voice – and push for that crucial “people’s vote” – amid the Brexit din.

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

  1. Truth hurts Reply

    We had a vote Phelim. Your side lost. Those who try to prevent us leaving are not democrats.

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