Daniel Zeichner MP has condemned the Government’s refusal to rule out a ‘No Deal‘ exit from the EU and urged them to better support local councils to make provisions for this possibility.
He asked the Local Government Secretary in the Commons chamber this afternoon:
“When I talk to my local councils, they have an endless stream of directives coming from the centre, but very little guidance as to what they should do if they suddenly find that significant numbers of their staff suddenly decide to go. What contingency preparations is the Government making to support local councils in the care sector, for instance, if those people aren’t here next week?“
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary responded:
“I hope I can give assurances to the Honourable gentleman in relation to the regular and detailed contact that we have had with local councils, through the Ministerial Delivery Board that I chair with representatives from local government, and indeed regular contact through the nine chief executives from around the country. Advice is being given very clearly to assure EU workers of their ability to stay and of the settled status scheme that the Home Office has put together.“
Mr Zeichner comments:
“I am seriously concerned about the level of complacency showcased today by the Local Government Secretary. If elderly or disabled people are left without carers, they could be extremely vulnerable; I think he is seriously misjudging the public concern regarding immigration status of EEA nationals if we crash out of the EU with no deal. Of course, we want people to stay, and the Government have committed to this, but the fact that they are not adequately preparing for the very real possibility of people leaving because they no longer feel welcome is irresponsible.“
“Councils do their best to provide all kinds of services to support vulnerable people – social care is just one of them, and the Government must put the resources in place to shield them from Brexit“