Brexit Latest

Having trouble viewing this email? View this as a web page

LGA logo

3 October 2017

Brexit Latest

Updates on the role councils are playing in negotiating Britain's exit from the EU

Britain and the EU

A lot has happened since our last briefing. The Government announced eight Brexit related Bills, the negotiations began in earnest and the Government have published a series of a policy papers outlining their vision for Brexit.

Throughout the summer the LGA has been proactively addressing the various developments and identifying those issues which matter to councils. You can see below for a brief recap of the last few months as well as a breakdown of our current key work areas.

Recently the four leaders of the UK local government associations also met with DExEU Ministers in Whitehall to discuss the risks and opportunities of Brexit for local government. These meetings are our 'seat around the table' and will continue on a quarterly basis so that we can make sure your voices continue to be heard.

Brexit will occupy more and more of both the Government's and Parliament's time over the coming political year. We'll be keeping a particularly close eye on the EU Withdrawal Bill which recently passed its second reading in the Commons unamended (our briefing can be found here). We'll be keeping you up to date as the Bill progresses through Parliament and as new Bills are introduced.

As we continue to engage with Whitehall on your behalf, we'll also be renewing our new call for evidence to hear how the negotiation process impacts your areas locally. Details of this will be coming shortly, but in the meantime please see here for our previous call. 

Lord Porter of Spalding CBE 
Chairman, Local Government Association

Mark Lloyd
Chief Executive, Local Government Association


The summer at a glance

19 June
Rt Hon David Davis MP (Secretary of State for Leaving the European Union) and Michel Barnier (European Chief Negotiator for Brexit) meet to start the first formal round of negotiation talks. The content of the 'first phase' is decided to be citizens' rights, the financial settlement, the Ireland/Northern Ireland border and 'other separation issues'. 

21 June
Eight Brexit Bills were outlined in the Queen's speech by the newly elected Government under Theresa May. These were;

  • The EU (Withdrawal) Bill (also known as the Repeal Bill)
  • Customs Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Immigration Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Agriculture Bill
  • Nuclear Safeguards Bill
  • International Sanctions Bills

26 June
Government begins its publication of a series of papers with a paper on EU nationals potential status in the UK, as well as their vision for UK citizens in Europe.

13 July
EU (Withdrawal) Bill is introduced to the House of Commons.

17 July
The second round of talks between British negotiators and their EU counterparts begin. Discussion over citizens' rights take place but no other major developments occur.

28 August
The third round of Brexit negotiations begin accompanied by the publication of a series of position papers and future partnership papers from the UK. Talks focussed on citizens' rights, the financial settlement and a range of other issues including judicial cooperation and customs arrangements.

11 September
EU (Withdrawal) Bill passes its Second Reading in the Commons unamended. The Bill will now go through the Committee and Report stages and be voted upon at its 3rd reading before entering the Lords.

22 September
Prime Minister Theresa May makes a major speech on Government policy in Florence, outlining her wish to see a two year transition period during which the UK pays into the EU budget, a new style of trade agreement for the UK & the EU. 

28 September
The fourth round of negotiations close with continued discussion on citizens' rights, the financial settlement and Ireland.

Coming up 

After the Party Conferences
The committee stage for the EU Withdrawal Bill begins.

9 October
The fifth round of negotiations begin.

Securing funding currently sourced from the EU

Over the summer we have been working to highlight the £5.3 billion that was to be received by England from the EU until 2020. We have already had a number of important lobbying successes to ensure that funding for local regeneration continues, including the Chancellor's commitment to replace the funding in some form.

In July we published a number of pro-active proposals on behalf of council, with an additional call in our 2017 Budget submission. This received a significant amount of media attention and we intend to capitalise on this momentum in the coming months. 

Changing the way the UK makes decisions - a new constitutional settlement

The LGA will be championing a new constitutional settlement in a post-Brexit UK, ensuring that powers are devolved to local communities and beyond Whitehall, Cardiff Bay, Stormont and Holyrood. We have created a number of work streams to pursue these goals, including;

  • Preserving local government's formal role in law-making post-Brexit. Local government currently is formally consulted through the EU parliamentary process and we have made pro-active discussions with Whitehall about how this role can continue.
  • Identifying where local government is likely to be affected by secondary legislation created or changed by the Repeal Bill, anticipate where UK regulators may gain new powers and ensure that consequences on the front-line are understood.
  • Identifying how local government continues to work with the European Union in the future.

The return of EU powers

We have reviewed all EU laws which impact on local government services and have identified which policy areas are in need of urgent review. We have begun a press campaign on this issues to highlight local government's interest, including calling for;

Community cohesion and workforce

Councils play a vital role in protecting their communities from harm and after the referendum we advocated strongly the role that councils were playing to bring divided communities together as hate crimes rose.

We have also established the number of 'continuing EU' workers that deliver vital public services.  For example, 7% of English adult care staff are currently EU nationals. Our role in analysing the consequences of UK and EU negotiation stances will be very important over the coming months. 

 In July 2017, the government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union and also on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy. There has been a call for evidence with a deadline of late October. Our submission will be led by the LGA’s Workforce Board. 

Place based impacts

The onus is on the LGA and councils to ensure that the differing place based impacts of Brexit are fed into Whitehall. We have organised a number of local seminars to ensure that such evidence is presented to DExEU. A summary of our discussions was presented to the DCLG Brexit Board to ensure that our evidence was formally registered.

The policy papers published by the Government over the summer have started to define the boundaries of the negotiations. For example, there are now some high-level proposals on future customs arrangements, fisheries and agriculture which help define post Brexit UK.

Consequently, we will be renewing our call for evidence on a series of specific issues, so that the risk and opportunities to places are placed firmly on the record. Please contact us on the details below if you would like to discuss how we approach this.


As the debate on building new trade relationships continues, we have advocated the help and experience that councils can offer through their expertise and international connections. The City Regions and People and Places Board is developing work in this area, particularly in identifying a problem with multiple and overlapping initiatives. We are now looking at an alternative model to offer to Government.

Get in touch

Please don't hesitate to get in touch, especially regarding any additional areas of concern. 

Past bulletins

Subscribe to our other e-bulletins