I am pleased to be part of a committee looking at the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the role local authorities could play post-Brexit.
The Communities and Local Government Committee’s Brexit and Local Government inquiry will look at which powers currently held by the EU could be transferred to town halls after the UK’s exit.
The Committee’s work will also examine the risks and opportunities posed by Brexit and how local government is engaged in the Brexit negotiations.
I believe that it is vital that local government has a seat at the table – and also that it plays a major role in where power and influence is held, post Brexit. I firmly believe that if there are decisions to be made about our area, then they should be made locally, rather than by Ministers in Westminster, and this inquiry is a great way to try and make sure this happens.
Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “The previous Secretary of State said last year that local government must be represented in the negotiations on the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU, but the role of local authorities post-Brexit is still unclear.
We hope our inquiry will help to clarify what the best possible outcome of those talks for local government would look like. We will be investigating which powers local authorities could take as they are returned from Brussels and explore how our departure from the EU might affect investment, development, and economic funding affecting local authorities.
We will also want to look at the employment of EU nationals and how local workforces may be impacted by Brexit, in areas such as adult social care and construction.”
The Committee is expected to hold a series of one-off evidence sessions running until early 2019 with the first evidence session to be held later this year aimed at clarifying the key concerns of the local government sector and the desired outcome of the EU negotiations.
I’ll be asking local government colleagues in the region for their thoughts, and hope everyone with an interest in this issue takes the opportunity to contribute.
Written submissions – terms of reference
The Committee is inviting written submissions in relation to the points below:
● What are the greatest risks, and opportunities, for local government posed by Brexit?
● What measures should the Government take to provide more certainty and stability for local government in light of Brexit?
● What powers could be devolved from the EU directly to local authorities?
● The extent to which local government’s voice is being heard in the Brexit negotiations and how representation can be improved
You can use this link to submit written evidence.
The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 14 November.