Press release

Whitehall must not be the default destination for repatriated EU powers

As powers return from Brussels, Communities Secretary Greg Clark argues that Whitehall cannot be their “default destination”.

Greg Clark

As powers return from Brussels, Communities Secretary Greg Clark today (5 July 2016) argued that Whitehall cannot be their “default destination”.

Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth, Mr Clark confirmed that local government will have a seat at the negotiating table to agree the UK’s exit from the European Union.

He tasked chairman of the LGA, Lord Porter, to pull together a team of councillors representing all parties and all parts of the country to “make good use of this seat at the table”.

Greg Clark said:

The response to leaving the European Union has to be a radically expanded role for local government. When we are transferring powers from the EU to Britain I think it is essential that Whitehall is not the default destination for them.

For years we have been urging subsidiarity – the principle that power is held as close to the people as possible – on the European Union.

We now must apply it at home and ask first whether powers and funds can be transferred to local government.

That means that local government must be represented at the negotiating table. I argued successfully for English local government to be part of the negotiations on the terms of our exit.

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Published 5 July 2016