Guidance

Local government Brexit preparedness

Guidance from government to assist local authority preparedness for exiting the European Union (EU).

Local government is critical to delivering a successful Brexit.

Our objective is to champion local government and help them to influence, prepare, adapt and innovate in response to Brexit and ensure a successful transition phase with minimal impact on council services and local people. To support this, additional funding for local government was announced on 28 January 2019.with further funding for areas with major ports announced on 20 February.

A network of 9 local authority chief executives from across England has also been established to engage with councils in their regions to share information on their Brexit preparations and feed back relevant national policy that could have implications for local services, businesses and residents.

This page provides a set of links to current guidance to aid ongoing Brexit preparations. It is organised into areas of responsibility and will be updated and added to regularly.

Statutory services

These include, but are not limited to, social care, child protection, education, environmental, leisure and community services.

Regulatory services

Including environmental health, trading standards,and port health authority responsibilities.

Border areas

Direct and indirect impacts of any border areas either in council boundaries or within neighbouring/regional boundaries - such as those on local infrastructure and the availability of essential supplies.

Supply chains

Both those managed directly by the council and indirect contracts managed through commissioned services.

Data handling

Responsibilities include corporate ICT and data housing that the council uses for its own services and data handling for any outsourced services.

Local partnership working

Engaging with key statutory and strategic partners, including the Health and Wellbeing Board, Crime Reduction or Community Safety Partnership, Local Economic Partnership and Local Resilience Forums.

Local economic growth

We are engaging with Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) including through weekly teleconferences with LEP Chief Executives to provide updates and also hear what is going on in their area, in particular how SMEs are approaching the task of preparing for Brexit.

Local resilience

Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) are non-statutory bodies which provide a forum for local agencies, including councils, to collaborate on local risk assessments and contingency planning. There are 38 LRFs in England; based on police force areas.

While Brexit is not an emergency, we are supporting LRFs in planning for possible disruptive impacts of a No Deal Brexit. This includes sharing planning information with LRF Chairs and LRF partners as appropriate.

The following documents are not Brexit-specific but are guidance for local authority preparedness for any contingency scenario:

Communications

Ensuring that there are appropriate plans and activities to provide community assurance and provision of timely information, including settlement status and workplace rights.

Citizens’ rights

Community engagement

Regional and local growth

Developing the local economy, helping businesses to prepare for a future outside the European Union, and making use of development funding.

Sector-specific guidance pages

Business support

EU funding

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme

  • Delivering a deal between the UK and EU remains the government’s top priority.
  • If a deal is reached between the UK and the EU then we will continue to take part in the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes until they end. This means that we will have the same amount of ERDF to spend in England as we would have if we’d remained in the EU.
  • The government also has plans in place that can be used in case it is not possible to agree a deal with the EU.
  • For ERDF, the government has guaranteed that we will continue to invest in local growth projects after we leave the EU. This means that we will ensure that any ERDF projects which have been agreed before we leave the EU will be able to continue. The government will also fund new projects that deliver good value for money and meet domestic strategic priorities up to the full value of the ERDF programme.
  • So whether you are running an existing project or thinking about applying for new funding, you can do so with full confidence, in either a deal or no-deal situation. This delivers on the government’s commitment to continue to invest in the growth and prosperity of communities across the UK and ensure a smooth departure from the EU.
  • We will provide more information on how the guarantee for ERDF will be delivered in England in the event of a no-deal as this becomes available. You’ll be able to find more on this page and the prepare for EU Exit pages.

European Territorial Cooperation (ETC)

  • The government has updated the Technical Notice it published in September 2018 about European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes.

  • The revised Technical Notice explains how these programmes would be affected if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

  • Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority.

  • If a deal is reached between the UK and the EU then we will continue to take part in the current ETC programmes until they end. This means that we will have the same amount of money to spend across the country as we would have had if we had remained in the EU.

  • The government also has plans in place that can be used in case it is not possible to agree a deal with the EU.

  • For ETC programmes, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government has guaranteed funding for UK partners.

  • In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it may mean that UK organisations are unable to continue in the majority of ETC programmes, other than PEACE IV and Interreg VA (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland), as they will not have access to the programmes.

  • In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EU has published a contingency regulation to enable the continuation of the PEACE IV and Interreg VA (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland) programmes. The UK, Irish government and the EU have noted their commitment to the funding of both programmes regardless of the outcome of negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Work is underway with the European Commission to ensure that these programmes continue to operate as now. This reflects the UK’s ongoing commitment to support peace and reconciliation in the island of Ireland.

  • We are working as a priority to ensure UK partners can continue in ETC programmes. However, without access to programmes, there is a risk that project partners may not be able to continue working with their counterparts in other member states. Similarly, UK organisations may also not be able to continue applying to ETC programmes after the UK leaves the EU. If so, the government will provide full details on what to do to individual project partners.

  • UK project partners in approved projects should continue delivering their project activity as contracted, including continuing to make payment claims.

  • Further communications and guidance will be sent directly to project partners updating them on next steps, including timing of events that we intend to hold across the country to speak to organisations affected.

  • Organisations interested in applying should consider the information in the technical notice and discuss with contact points / facilitators. Our contact points and facilitators remain in place to help you apply for funding.

  • For any general questions or concerns about ETC in the meantime, please contact ETCteam@communities.gov.uk.

Please contact LGEngagement@communities.gov.uk with comments or suggestions for this page.

Published 28 January 2019