Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee calls on Javid to address Brexit labour issue

Clive Betts, chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, has called on the CLG secretary of state Sajid Javid to consider evidence submitted to the committee on the impact of Brexit on local government as the Government negotiates on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

In a letter to Javid, Betts sets out four areas raised by witnesses during an evidence session this month and in written submissions as part of the Committee’s inquiry in to the consequences of withdrawal and the role local authorities could play post-Brexit.

The Committee is asking the Government to consider questions in the following areas:

  •     The replacement of EU funding streams
  •     Changes in the EU workforce
  •     Retaining, amending and repealing EU legislation
  •     Representation of local government in the Brexit negotiations and beyond

Cornwall Council told the Committee that they had experienced a 25% contraction in the workforce available to farms and horticultural growers in 2017 and written evidence has identified a range of other industries believed to be impacted by changes to the employment status of EU nationals in the UK.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, chair of the LGA's Brexit Task and Finish Group, said to the Commitee that a one size fits all approach to addressing this impact and a potential post-Brexit skills gap is unlikely to work. The Committee would therefore welcome clarity on how the Government intends to support local government in addressing this issue. The Committee would also be interested in knowing whether the Government is considering the introduction of a seasonal workers' scheme.

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