Documents uncovered by the People’s Vote campaign - a pressure group calling for a second Brexit referendum - have found that numerous councils across the region are on high alert in the expectation that Britain will leave the European Union without an agreement at the end of October.
The organisation discovered that some leading authorities in the region had compiled a ‘risk register’, detailing the possible impact of a no-deal departure.
As well as food and medicine shortages caused by delays at UK ports, Kingston upon Hull Council warned of “delays in development and flood management projects associated with uncertainty about how to manage Environmental constraints”.
A document prepared by Bradford Council suggested that “key sectors, such as the health and social care workforce,” should “prepare for potential workforce shortages’ as a result of EU citizens needing to apply for settled status throughout the EU settlement scheme to secure the right to live and work in the UK in the event of a No Deal Brexit”.
And Calderdale Council said that “existing EU projects such as the Caldene Bridge may not have access to sufficient funding once EU funding is lost”.
In the Humber, the local resilience forum - which brings together local public and emergency services to respond to crises - warned that a no-deal exit on 31 October would lead to the “inability to dispose of (or recycle) household and commercial waste”.
Clive LaPensée, chair of Hull and East Yorkshire for Europe, 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 the Humber LRF dedicated to dealing with emergency situations.
“This is not ‘project fear’ so much as ‘project here’ because the impact on council services will affect thousands of people in Humber and the surrounding area as they go about their everyday business in these communities.
“At a time when the Prime Minister is saying he would be prepared to impose this kind of Brexit on the British people, 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.”