Council frontline services should not be affected by no-deal Brexit

Council frontline services should not be affected by no-deal Brexit
EEXX news 10/05/2017.Flags fly at City Hall, Cork for the Freedom of the City for Ronan O'Gara.Irish flag, British and Irish Lions, Munster, Cork Constitution, UCC and Presentation Brothers College fly on Terence McSwiney Quay.Pic; Larry Cummins

CITY HALL is preparing for a no-deal Brexit and has said measures are in place to ensure services will not be affected.

The local authority’s director of strategic planning and economic development, Fearghal Reidy, told councillors that there is an ongoing process to ensure all the council’s services are "robust" and revealed that eight of the council's 19 EU projects that involve UK partners should not be affected.

The UK Government has guaranteed to continue to meet its commitment to provide co-financing for British partners involved in projects approved before the end of December 2020.

Mr Reidy said: “Cork City Council is conducting a review of supply of goods and services procured by the local authority to ensure that services will not be affected by any adverse impacts of potential shocks to the supply chain.

"A no-deal Brexit will pose challenges and opportunities for the economy of Cork City. The Strategic and Economic Development Directorate is working with small businesses, through the Local Enterprise Office, to ensure that they are prepared for Brexit.

“We encourage small businesses to contact the Local Enterprise Office to access the full range of supports that are available to prepare for Brexit. In addition, Cork City Council has augmented its engagement with the British Embassy and other partners through the ‘Join the Dots’ initiative to identify opportunities to strengthen links with the UK.” Mr Reidy added that local authorities closer to the border with Northern Ireland, will be impacted in terms of environmental, emergency, transport and social services and said City Hall will continue to monitor this and its impacts on service delivery in Cork.

However, Green Party councillor Oliver Moran has urged businesses to have a level of preparedness.

"Given the conditions in the UK, it would be prudent to assume that they will be leaving the EU on 31 October come what may. Businesses and organisations, even those who don't trade directly with the UK, should conduct an audit of the good and services they reply on. Depending on your activities, this may require registering for VAT in the UK, reviewing contacts in light of changed circumstances, making changes to how and where customer data is stored, among a whole raft of other changes.

"There are now only 50 days to prepare for the 31 October deadline. The government have produced preparedness documentation for businesses and other organisation. This can be downloaded at Brexit is both a challenge and an opportunity for Ireland. But as Roy Keane would say, 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.' That should be our Brexit motto from here out," Mr Moran added.

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