We must be told how Brexit will hit our city

Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty
Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty

Greens remain consistent in our opposition to Brexit and we still need to know how Brexit will affect our city’s communities and businesses. With the latest news that a ‘no deal’ outcome would bankrupt 1 in 10 UK firms and a government minister appointed to oversee ‘protection of food supplies,’ we believe Brexit will be a disaster for our city and country.

Last year the EU invested £17m to support 601 farmers around the city and has invested more than £100m to support research projects and £1m to create jobs. Vital parts of our city’s economy like health, tourism and hospitality are propped up by EU citizens. Despite this, our city has been left without the information it needs to adequately plan for the future. The Conservative and Labour Party remain divided over what, if any, plan should be in place. As we approach the deadline, our residents and businesses urgently need assurances over what the future holds and this is why last December, Green councillors pushed for us to become the first English council to call for a People’s Vote. Council reports have drawn an alarming blank instead of including details of how Brexit might harm council services for the community. Where Labour has failed to plan, Greens are calling for a thorough investigation into the impact Brexit will have on Brighton and Hove. We have pushed for the economic risks associated with Brexit to be added to council reports.

We have called on minsters to share with the council the assessments their departments have written about how our local economy will be affected by Brexit. We’ve asked what assurances government will give to residents that everything is being done to mitigate risks to jobs and livelihoods and that in the absence of such mitigation they will aid and compensate city residents whose income is lost through Brexit. More than 1,400 residents have signed a petition demanding a People’s Vote and the legitimate concerns over how Brexit will affect us must be heard. Above all people need a say. Greens remain focused and vocal – where others fail, Greens will speak up for our city.

Convener of the Green Group on Brighton and Hove City Council