South Lakeland "as well prepared as can be" for Brexit
25 October 2019
South Lakeland is "as well prepared as can be" for Brexit, councillors have been told.
A report to our Overview and Scrutiny Committee today (25 October) says: "As an organisation, South Lakeland District Council is as well prepared as it can be for Brexit, recognising that there are enormous uncertainties about the timing, scale and wider impacts of what will be an immense and unpredictable change for the country as a whole and we are working closely with partners to ensure that as far as possible, impacts on the district are mitigated."
The report on the immediate and local impacts of a UK withdrawal from the European Union has been prepared on the basis that a ‘no deal’ Brexit is a significant risk.
Internal and operational risks identified by us include accessing fuel for our fleet in the event of disruption to fuel supplies, disruption to the delivery of new fleet vehicles as part of the plant replacement programme in the event of a no-deal scenario and issues around the readiness of IT systems and access to data stored within the EU or the European Economic Area.
A small number of our staff are EU residents and we have made them aware of the EU resettlement scheme.
The Local Resilience Forum has considered traffic management issues in relation to Irish Sea ports in and around Cumbria. Impacts on the Port of Heysham have been examined through co-operation with the Lancashire LRF and no significant impacts to Cumbria are expected.
The report also outlines how around 75 per cent of medicines come from, or via, the EU and a multi-layered package of measures has been put in place to ensure continuity of supply.
At local level, medical supplies are being co-ordinated by the NHS.
The report also details how the impacts of tariffs and import VAT will be complex and highly specific to individual businesses and transport businesses, particularly international freight businesses, will also be affected if there is reduced flow at ports.
Small businesses which sell to domestic and local markets could also be affected if EU employees choose not to apply for settled status or if a salary threshold for EU labour migrants is introduced.
Farming and food manufacturing is seen as vulnerable (due to tariffs) and the care sector and tourism (due to labour supply).
The report added: "SLDC continues to work in partnership with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, financially contributing towards business support which is available to South Lakeland businesses at no cost."