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Slough to prepare Brexit risk assessment as Royal Borough waits on Government reports

No plans for a possible no-deal Brexit have been made by the Royal Borough but Slough is starting to compile a risk assessment.

Council reports on the impact of Brexit made national headlines last week when it emerged some local authorities were determining how the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will affect their areas.

But Royal Borough council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) said he was instead waiting for more information.

He said: “The Government is going to release something in the region of 70 impact assessments.

“We will look for the commentary in those impact assessments.”

He added that he could understand why councils with facilities such as ports would want to assess how those would be affected by Brexit.

That was echoed by the leader of Slough Borough Council, Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green), who said Slough had not compiled an impact document yet because he did not want to use ‘limited resources’ to produce ‘highly speculative analysis’.

But yesterday (Thurs-day) he said: “An increase in the likelihood of a ‘no deal’ or ‘cliff edge’ Brexit has led to the council believing it is worthwhile to produce a risk analysis report.”

It is due to be published September.

Businesses based at Slough Trading Estate are compiling their own assessments, he added, and he claimed that challenges Slough could face in a worst case economic scenario include projects such as Crossrail or Heathrow expansion becoming affected.

The chairman of the Local Government Association’s Brexit task-force, Essex councillor Kevin Bentley, said Brexit will be ‘judged as a success or failure by localities’ and would have a ‘significant impact on local government’.

Speaking of other councils’ Brexit impact assessments, he said: “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.

“These documents represent councils preparing for what the practical implications of a Brexit negotiation may be.”


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