The Leader of MK Council has stepped up the authority’s planning in the event of a “no deal,” Brexit.
The council will concentrate on ensuring service continuity in adult social care, keeping vulnerable children safe, and other vital areas such as waste collection and public health. The financial risk to the council will also be more fully assessed. The Council will aim to publish its assessment in December
The increase in preparation comes after Theresa May’s Government suffered a series of catastrophic ministerial resignations just hours after announcing her “exit deal,” and the plan being savaged by all sides of the political divide. Without a deal Britain could crash out of the European Union in March 2019 with few, or no, rules on a how a huge number of vital services and tasks could continue.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council said:
“How, when, or if, we leave the European Union is the major question over which we are currently witnessing a slow motion collapse in Westminster of a Government and the authority of a Prime Minister. It is increasingly clear that her proposals will face a difficult, and perhaps fatal, journey through Parliament. We are already putting in place contingency plans, but we will be stepping up those for the worst case scenario.”
“Last night the Prime Minister stated that Parliament will face a choice between this deal, no deal or not leaving the European Union. There is a very real possibility that a no deal Brexit could occur if the Prime Minister does not change course. It is therefore vital, whatever our individual views, that Milton Keynes Council is prepared for the worst. Today I have asked officers to step up contingency planning for a “no deal,” scenario, with our priorities being to ensure the continuity of vital services. We will ensure we have plans in place to continue to deliver social care and support for our most vulnerable adults, protect children from harm, ensure waste is collected and other important public health services continue. We will also be modelling the potential financial impact on the council if, in the event of a no deal scenario, European nationals in our care no longer qualify for public funds. The council must also be aware of the potential impact on our finances given our increasing reliance on business rates after 8 years of austerity. We aim to publish the preparation in December, although we will obviously keep monitoring the national picture.”
“I hope and wish that our planning will never be required, however we must be prepared. I believe there is still time for the Prime Minister to change course, but in the event she does not and there is a bad outcome, we want to be as ready as we can be.”