Responding to the NAO report on the UK border: preparedness for EU Exit, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA’s Brexit Taskforce, said:
“The UK’s exit from the EU is likely to have a significant impact on local government, creating challenges that need to be addressed across a range of areas. Councils up and down the country are taking a lead on preparations for Brexit because our residents and our local businesses expect us to be ready.
“It is positive that this report recognises that a number of councils will play a significant role at UK borders. To enable effective planning and implementation, it’s vital that councils are given extra resources, in the same way as the Border Force, Competition and Markets Authority, Food Standards Agency and others have been, and that all relevant councils are involved in the planning process.
“A no deal Brexit could leave the UK without access to European-wide databases which provide much of the intelligence for assessing risks about goods entering the country. This risks valuable protections being weakened, and could also mean more checking of goods by local government is needed, either at ports or inland.
“However, following years of cuts to regulatory service, councils would be unable to process additional checks without substantial extra resources to support this.”