North East Lincolnshire

‘Inept’ government delaying Brexit planning

The leader of North East Lincolnshire Council said the government’s “inept” handling of Brexit is delaying no-deal preparations in the region.

Councillor Ray Oxby said the authority is “doing its best” to plan for the country’s exit from the European Union, but that a decision needs to be made by the government on a deal.

Concern has been raised about the impact on British industry should the country leave without a deal.

Councillor Oxby said the council has been preparing with local resilience forum partners for the exit, but cannot do anymore until a “direction” is given from government.

The UK will officially leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, but Parliament has yet to agree a withdrawal deal.

Port of Immingham. Picture: Roger Geach.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been holding more talks with the EU in an effort to get a deal through the House of Commons.

But Councillor Oxby said authority officials have concern over lorries carrying goods to the Port of Immingham which may potentially lead to queues on the A180 and supply chain issues.

“All that is a worry, but it’s down to government to sort their act out,” he said.

“It’s up to them to make a decision and until then business and ourselves cannot plan around it.

“We’re doing our best working with our colleagues in the Humber, such as fire, police and other blue light authorities in the Humber Resilience Forum.

“But until the government get their act together to give a clear direction as to what’s going to happen and the implications, we can’t plan around it in too much detail.”

The Humber Local Resilience Forum is made up of businesses and emergency services from across the region, including KCOM, Clugston, local authorities and NHS bodies.

The forum is drawing up contingency plans for the ports of Immingham, Hull, Grimsby and Goole in the event of a no-deal exit.

Grimsby Docks. Photo: Chris

A traffic management plan is being prepared as part of the plans in order to deal with potential disruption.

Councillor Oxby said the authority is working with the forum to “mitigate” any impact Brexit may have on ports and local transport infrastructure.

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council said: “All Local Resilience Forums nationally have been asked to consider preparations for a range of possible scenarios that could occur as a result of a ‘no-deal EU Exit’

“LRF partners are preparing traffic management plans to minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and communities if traffic around the ports does become an issue, and are awaiting guidance from government as to whether those plans may need to be implemented, and if they are required what the scale of implementation might be and how it might be funded

“We will continue to work with all partners involved in the LRF to make sure that the appropriate multi agency emergency coordination structures are in place before and after the March 29 to respond to any issues that might arise from a no-deal EU exit.”

Prime Minister Theresa May and EU Council President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Meanwhile, communities secretary, James Brokenshire MP, last month announced a £56.5 million package to go towards local authorities Brexit planning.

North East Lincolnshire Council is expected to receive £210,000 worth of funding as part of the announcement.

However, the authority said it is still waiting for more detail on the funds as well as “guidance” from government on Brexit planning.


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