No Brexit plan for Leeds as deadline looms closer

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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Leeds City Council has yet to take a detailed look into the possible effects of Brexit on the city, despite the UK’s planned leaving date being less than seven months away.

A freedom of information request from the Yorkshire Evening Post asked Leeds City Council whether there had been any assessments on the possible effects of Brexit on issues such as employment, household income and immigration.

Although it admitted to seeing Brexit as a “risk”, the authority says the unclear nature of the UK’s negotiations mean it’s difficult to predict the impact of the UK leaving the European Union on Leeds residents.

The response said: “The council has not undertaken a specific Brexit impact assessment. This is in large part as negotiations between the UK government and the European Union are still ongoing and, while some more detail was contained within the recent White Paper, the vision of what the final deal will ultimately look like is still unclear.”

It added that the council’s medium term financial strategy from 2019/20 to 2021/22, does not provide for any implications of Brexit. The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019.

The response added: “However it is acknowledged that Brexit is a risk and the implications of its projected impact will have to be factored into the government’s future public spending plans. Whilst currently no specific provision is included in the council’s reserves to deal with any issues arising from Brexit, because at the moment it is unclear what, if any, these are, the level of reserves that the council retains is subject to constant review and if additional financial risks were to arise from the Brexit process, then the level of provision contained within the council’s reserves position would be adjusted as appropriate.” The authority says it is in conversation with the EU about what could happen to the district once the UK leaves.