Government's handling of Brexit 'delaying no-deal preparations in North East Lincolnshire'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 13 Feb 2019

The leader of North East Lincolnshire Council says the Government's "inept" handling of Brexit is delaying preparations in the borough for a no-deal scenario.

Councillor Ray Oxby said the authority is "doing its best" to plan for the country’s exit from the European Union, as concern has been raised about the impact on British industry should the UK leave without a deal.

He said the council has been preparing with local resilience forum partners for the exit, but cannot do any more until a "direction" is given from the Government.

The UK will officially leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, but Parliament has yet to agree a withdrawal deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been holding more talks with the EU in an effort to get a deal through the House of Commons.

But Councillor Oxby said authority officials have concern over lorries carrying goods to the Port of Immingham which may potentially lead to queues on the A180 and supply chain issues.

Concern has been raised that lorries carrying goods to the Port of immingham may lead to queues on the A180 in the event of a no-deal Brexit (Image: Grimsby Live)

"All that is a worry, but it's down to Government to sort their act out," he said.

"It's up to them to make a decision and until then business and ourselves cannot plan around it.

"We're doing our best working with our colleagues in the Humber, such as fire, police and other blue light authorities in the Humber Resilience Forum.

"But until the Government get their act together to give a clear direction as to what's going to happen and the implications, we can't plan around it in too much detail."

The Humber Local Resilience Forum is made up of businesses and emergency services from across the region, including KCOM, Clugston, local authorities and NHS bodies.

The forum is drawing up contingency plans for the ports of Immingham, Hull, Grimsby and Goole in the event of a no-deal exit.

Contingency plans are being drawn up for the ports of Immingham, Grimsby, Hull and Goole for if the UK leaves the EU without a deal (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

A traffic management plan is being prepared as part of the plans in order to deal with potential disruption.

Councillor Oxby said the authority is working with the forum to "mitigate" any impact Brexit may have on ports and local transport infrastructure.

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council said: "All Local Resilience Forums nationally have been asked to consider preparations for a range of possible scenarios that could occur as a result of a no-deal EU exit.

"LRF partners are preparing traffic management plans to minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and communities if traffic around the ports does become an issue, and are awaiting guidance from government as to whether those plans may need to be implemented, and if they are required what the scale of implementation might be and how it might be funded.

"We will continue to work with all partners involved in the LRF to make sure that the appropriate multi agency emergency co-ordination structures are in place before and after March 29 to respond to any issues that might arise from a no-deal EU exit."

Last month, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire announced a £56.5 million package to go towards local authorities' Brexit planning.

North East Lincolnshire Council is expected to receive £210,000 worth of funding as part of the announcement.

However, the authority said it is still waiting for more detail on the funds as well as "guidance" from the Government on Brexit planning.

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