Deal or no deal - how could Brexit affect our local councils?
Some have had a stab at answering that question.
Fewer migrants might lead to a shortage of care workers in East
Sussex – the county council says 11% of its carers come from the EU.
Meanwhile, West Sussex's officers worry what might happen to the
local economy, particularly around Gatwick Airport.
In Kent, the county council says new border controls could lead
to a trebling in referrals to Trading Standards, while disrupted supply chains
could cause a shortage of wheelie bins in Maidstone – whose council buys its bins
It’s not all doom and gloom - some authorities hope that leaving
the EU might unlock extra money, or cut red tape to make it easier for them to
sign contracts and pay for services.
But the truth is, most of our councils have very little idea how
Brexit might affect them.
The vast majority have barely begun to tackle the issue - in
large part because they don’t feel Government has given them enough information
about what scenarios they might be facing.
Tomorrow, they’ll get a bit more detail.
The Government will publish its backup plans in case the UK
leaves the EU suddenly, without a deal.
It’s this prospect that scares people the most.
Already, some fear that sudden extra customs checks for lorries
at the port of Newhaven would cause tailbacks and bring the town to a standstill.
Others call that scaremongering.
But with just 219 sleeps til Brexit Day - councils will be
fastening their seatbelts.
They know there could be major change to prepare for - and an
ever smaller amount of time in which to prepare for it.