This is how a no-deal Brexit would impact Adur and Worthing – according to council documents

Potential job losses, issues with road networks and supply shortages are among the outcomes anticipated in Adur and Worthing if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, according to confidential council documents.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 5:05 pm
Worthing seen from above

A ‘risk register’ has been compiled by Adur and Worthing Council detailing the impact a no-deal Brexit would have on the council and the local area.

The document, which has been released following a Freedom of Information request by the People’s Vote Campaign, highlights traffic jams and supply shortages as among the potential risks.

Other risks identified include potential job losses based on industries exposed to trade and a decrease of inward investment since Brexit.

The construction, health and social sectors were identified as being ‘particularly vulnerable to Brexit’ and having particular impacts on the local financial and social economies.

Issues to road networks along the coast would be likely to occur due to port congestion, according to the documents.

Gas supplies to the crematorium may be at risk if the UK exits without a deal and hate crimes may also increase.

The council noted that, following the 2016 referendum, there was a six-week spike in hate crime reports nationally and while it said incidents locally were ‘relatively low’, community support may be needed in order to mitigate any lasting effect to community cohesion.

Ian Davey, from the Worthing For EU campaign group, said: “The concerns identified here are not hyperbole from politicians in the Remain campaign or exaggeration by journalists.

“They are the sober assessment of public officials in Adur and Worthing Council, dedicated to the provision of key services from housing to traffic and waste management.

“This is not ‘project fear’ so much as ‘project here’ because the impact on council services will affect thousands of people in Adur and Worthing and the surrounding area as they go about their everyday business in our communities.

“These risk registers should provide a wake-up call to both politicians and the public.

“During the last referendum, the prospect of a No Deal was barely discussed and it is outrageous to claim there is any form of democratic mandate for it now.

“Before any form of destructive Brexit is inflicted on these communities, it is essential for the health of our democracy that the permission of the people is sought through a final say referendum.”

A council spokesman said the information released through the Freedom of Information request related to planning earlier in the year and said the councils’ preparations had progressed since then.

“As appropriate, the councils are actively monitoring developments at a local, regional and national level as we approach 31 October,” the spokesman said.

“We have assessed potential disruptions to council services that may affect our local communities and businesses and have not identified any specific issues to Adur and Worthing that will have a significant impact.

“We also continue to engage with partners across the public, private and community and voluntary sectors to stay informed about any emerging issues and to respond appropriately.

“We also remain engaged with the Sussex Resilience Forum which will coordinate local responses to any disruptions to goods, services and infrastructure immediately following EU Exit.”

Gas Supplies at the crematorium have been identified as a priority need for supply, the spokesman said, adding that this had been communicated to the appropriate authorities so that it could be considered if there was a disruption to gas supplies.