Tories boycott council Brexit debate

Posted On 03 Oct 2019 at 4:33 pm

Conservative councillors are boycotting an “extraordinary council meeting” about Brexit preparations at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Thursday 3 October).

The one-item meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council was called by the Greens.

They said that they wanted answers to a series of questions about the impact of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

But the Tories said that to suggest that the council was unprepared was an insult to officials who had kept members briefed.

The party’s statement said: “Conservative councillors today, having attended a series of briefings with senior officers and discussions within the group, have decided not to take part in the Brexit debate at the Extraordinary Council called by the Green group.

“The Conservative group felt that any discussion suggesting that the city was not prepared was disrespectful to council staff who have worked tirelessly on all key areas of concern.

“Instead, the Labour / Green coalition is misusing the purpose of the meeting just to undermine staff and make political points.”

Conservative leader Steve Bell said: “This meeting was originally billed to be a discussion about the preparedness of the city to deal with the outcome of Brexit.

“Regretfully, the meeting is clearly being hijacked to spend hours arguing over the merits of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

“Fortunately, the matter of preparedness is coming to the Policy and Resources Committee next Thursday (10 October) where we can discuss progress on being ready, provide the assurances that citizens and businesses need and know the council has considered the issues and has a plan to deal with them should they arise.”

Councillor Bell added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank officers of the council and other agencies for their hard work in being ready.

“It is important for everybody to know that, beyond the political debate, the council has been getting prepared and is ready.”

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