Council pledges to support residents during Brexit fallout

15 January 2019

With MPs scheduled to vote on the Brexit deal today, and with just 75 days to go until the UK leaves the EU, one London council is proposing a financial commitment of over £2m to support residents through the Brexit process.

Southwark Council is set to offer a £2m reserve and an immediate £300,000 funding package to prepare for what could be a huge impact on the borough, during a time of great uncertainty. This funding will also ensure that EU residents who are council employees are supported to gain ‘settled status’.

Councillor Victoria Mills, Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Brexit, said: “Councils are already under immense pressure financially, and it is shocking that the Government has yet to outline the detail of any assistance for local authorities, which are on the front line of supporting people. We have already heard concerns from our NHS colleagues, from universities and from local businesses about Brexit and our services rely on resources and employees from the EU. While there is much uncertainly, what is very clear at present is that we will be left to pick up the bill.

“The Government cannot expect local authorities to provide any more than we’re already stretched to do. The bottom line is that we do not yet know what the true impact of Brexit will be, so we have to budget and prepare for as much as we can in order to continue to support our residents.”

If approved, as part of the council’s 2019/20 draft Policy and Resources Strategy at cabinet next week, the £300,000 fund will respond to the recommendations made by the council’s Brexit Panel, supporting EU residents who work for the council and cover immediate cost pressures arising from Brexit as well as a £2m ‘Brexit Risk Reserve’.

Southwark Council will continue to prepare for the impact of Brexit – both the potential challenges in the weeks and months after 29 March 2019 but also the longer-term impacts to its local businesses and public services.

Page last updated: 15 January 2019