Argyll and Bute Council ‘ready for Brexit’

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Argyll and Bute Council is ready to meet the challenges of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, a report has insisted.

A paper produced by the authority for a full council meeting on Thursday September 26, indicated possible difficulties for the area after Brexit.

These include a possible reduction in food choices and rising costs, but the same document adds work is ongoing to ensure Argyll and Bute is ready.

It also states an assessment model by national council governing body COSLA classified the authority as ‘ready’ earlier this year.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on Thursday October 31. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said it will do so with or without a deal.

The report by council chief executive Cleland Sneddon said: ‘The UK Government’s withdrawal from the EU raises a number of risks and opportunities.

‘The council and the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) undertook early in the year a full risk assessment and subsequently produced an action plan.

‘The most significant risk relates to export of fish and shellfish and a national approach has been ongoing for some time with input from the council’s regulatory services manager, who is also the council’s/HSCP tactical lead.

‘Members should be assured that work is ongoing to respond to the uncertainty surrounding EU-Exit.

‘Preparation work has been undertaken having regard to national planning assumptions and a risk register and action plan are in place to mitigate the key risks to our area. This work continues.

‘We are embedded and actively engaged in national frameworks and discussions on a wide range of issues.

‘All our business continuity plans have been revised to provide assurance that our core council/HSCP services can be delivered in the event of a ‘no-deal’ EU Exit. Such work has included the provision of fuel supplies.

‘From a contingency planning perspective, we have established systems in place to work with our partners responding to emerging issues and report into the National Multi-Agency Co-ordinating Centre, which relates directly to Scottish and UK Government.

‘The council/HSCP were classified as ‘ready’ using the COSLA Assessment Model in the lead up to the original leave date of March 29 and remain at this level.

‘Members should be assured the tactical team continue to meet regularly to monitor all potential risks and opportunities, ensure satisfactory contingency arrangements are in place and report regularly to the strategic management team.’