William Eichler 08 August 2019

Local government ‘shut out’ of Brexit discussions, Labour warns

Andrew Gwynne, the shadow secretary of state for communities and local government, has raised concerns that local authorities will not be represented on the Government’s EU Exit Operations Committee.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has selected 14 out of 23 cabinet ministers to attend the committee. However, the secretary of state for communities and local government, Robert Jenrick, will not be present.

‘Once again, Government claims to be supporting our councils with Brexit preparations ring hollow,’ said Mr Gwynne.

‘Local Government is responsible for the delivery of social care, public health services, as well as the local services that people rely on – it is unthinkable that the Government fails to see how these services could be hit by a No-Deal Brexit.’

Senior policy researcher at the NLGN think-tank, Charlotte Morgan, told The MJ: 'Why is health and social care represented and not local government? Who do they think is responsible for social care and public health?'

An MHCLG spokesperson said: 'The local government secretary, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP regularly attends committee meetings where key Brexit-related decisions are made and it is nonsense to suggest otherwise.

'Local government has the strongest possible voice at cabinet, with three ministers from the department attending. We are working closely with local councils to get ready to leave the EU on 31 October and have recently made available £72m to support locally-led preparations.'

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