Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Region Walking into the Unknown with Brexit

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Region Walking into the Unknown with Brexit

Article excerpt

Byline: SEAN SEDDON Reporter sean.seddon@ncjmedia.co.uk

BREXIT is just eight months away yet North East councils aren't doing any studies about how it might impact the region.

Earlier this week, Sky News reported some councils have carried out detailed assessments of how they could be affected by the UK's departure from the European Union. But Freedom of Information requests have revealed no such studies are being carried out in the North East.

Newcastle City Council's deputy leader Joyce McCarty and MEP Jude Kirton-Darling have claimed a lack of clarity from central Government has made it impossible for local authorities to plan.

While North East councils have contributed to a report by the North East Local Economic Enterprise looking at the relationship between the EU and the region, the FOI responses show no further detailed assessments are planned.

The only substantial piece of research currently being compiled is a study into how the rural economy might be affected, which has been commissioned by Northumberland County Council.

Explaining why no assessments are being carried out, Newcastle's deputy leader Joyce McCarty said: "Right now, many councils are unable to plan for the future as a result of the Government's Brexit chaos.

"While some councils obviously have Brexit-specific issues in their area, no one really knows what exit deal the Government will finally manage, and what the impact of this will be.

"To make matters worse, the Government is spending in the region of PS2bn to make Whitehall ready for Brexit but none of that money has gone to help local authorities prepare for Brexit. Cities such as Newcastle face an uncertain future as Brexit approaches as a direct result of the Government's failure to set out a clear path.

"Clearly, when Brexit does arrive, we will have to be ready for the new era. …

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