THE ENDING of the transition period and the potential of a no-deal Brexit, combined with the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, will have drastic economic impacts on Milton Keynes, Liberal Democrats have warned.
The party’s group on Milton Keynes Council has put forward a motion calling on the council cabinet to work with local businesses and organisations to identify their concerns about Brexit and COVID-19, and to lobby the Conservative government alongside them for help.
It also asks the cabinet to factor in the ending of the transition period into their recovery plan for the city and to lobby the government for more financial support for councils.
The motion passed, including one amendment by Lib Dem Cllr Ric Brackenbury, with 36 votes for, none against, and with 15 abstentions.
Cllr Jenni Ferrans, who proposed the motion, said: “We have just over two months before the Brexit transition period ends and we potentially crash out of the EU with no-deal. We are about to suffer the twofold blow of Covid and Brexit.”
“I cannot emphasise enough the effect a no-deal Brexit will have on Milton Keynes businesses. It will impact everything from trade to the movement of people and goods, from work permits to recruitment, from international research to insurance.
“It will even impact the ability to bid for contracts on a level playing field.”
“The government and Milton Keynes Council must do everything in its power to help businesses through this trying time.”
Cllr Douglas McCall, who seconded the motion, said: “As Liberal Democrats we have been fighting to stop a no-deal Brexit, but it looks like the “oven-ready deal” was not “oven-ready” at all.”
“Now we must engage with local businesses to identify their needs and concerns and lobby the government for help alongside them.”
The Lib Dems also brought motions on Milton Keynes becoming the world’s greenest city, and on celebrating local community litter picking groups. All three motions are available in full on Milton Keynes Council’s website.