Speak out for anti-Brexit Brighton and Hove

15 January 2019

Speak out for anti-Brexit Brighton and Hove

Labour Party leadership: support a People’s Vote, Greens urge

The Labour Council must speak out against a damaging Brexit deal for the city and back a People’s Vote, Greens have said this week.

Council reports have revealed that Brighton and Hove faces a local funding and jobs crisis if the UK crashes out of the European Union.

Ahead of a series of critical votes on the UK’s future deal with the European Union in Parliament, Greens have called on the Labour Council to publicly lobby the Labour Party leadership for better support and protection for Brighton and Hove in the face of Brexit disruption.

An analysis of the impact of various Brexit ‘scenarios’ requested by the Green Group of Councillors has revealed that key sectors in the city’s economy such as tourism, hospitality and healthcare would be hit hard by the confusion over the status of EU migrants, workforce visas and border regulations. [1]

A ‘no-deal’ Brexit could also leave the city facing an EU funding ‘black hole’ of up to £1.7m. [2]

Greens say that while they have been pushing for impact assessments, advocating for Brighton and Hove to remain a key EU partner, and supporting residents petitioning for a People’s Vote, the Labour Council has let residents down by failing to speak out against a catastrophic Brexit deal. [3]

With Parliament voting tonight on the issue, Greens say the Labour Council must now clearly back the city in standing against Brexit, or urgently join calls for a People’s Vote.

Convenor of the Green Group of Councillors, Phélim Mac Cafferty, commented:

“Our city rejected Brexit. We call on Labour Councillors to join us to make clear that any deal from Theresa May will make life harder for residents who are already struggling the most. The Conservative government wasted two and a half years and their deal will almost certainly fall tonight.

“As a result a disastrous no-deal Brexit is a very real prospect but that’s why we’re calling on Labour Councillors to lobby the Labour Party leadership to get behind a People’s Vote.

“In the absence of a clear national position, Brighton and Hove’s local Labour-led Council has sadly let residents down over Brexit. It was Green Party Councillors who pushed for an assessment of the impact of leaving the European Union. That analysis makes for grim reading: grants to our EU funded council services uncertain, supply chains disrupted, staffing shortages in our local NHS and tourism industry. It has never been clearer: as a city we simply cannot afford Brexit.”

He added:

“250 local projects could stand to lose EU funding after Brexit and it’s clear we can’t simply stand by and adopt the Labour Council’s ‘wait and see’ approach. Locally, Greens pushed our Council to become the first to formally back calls for a People’s Vote. We have advocated for our city to remain a key partner in EU funding discussions. Greens are clear that we must remain a city of sanctuary for migrants – and argue strongly for freedom of movement.

“Between a deal that will mean hardship for our city and no deal that will mean catastrophe, we demand an end to this Brexit chaos. The Conservative Government has failed to lead in the national interests and our city deserves to have a say on what our future should look like. A People’s Vote is the only way forward.”    

[1] Following a call for better investigation of the effects of Brexit on the city by the Green Group of Councillors, council staff have now analysed the likely impact that a range of Brexit deal ‘scenarios’ could have on the city, including a ‘no deal’, ‘continued uncertainty’ and an ‘EEA style agreement.’


Detail on Scenario 1, ‘No Deal Brexit’ includes the following:
Tourism: People 1st estimate that the sector will require 1.3m new staff by 2024 due to growth and high turnover rates. A “no deal” Brexit will cause confusion over rights or EU nationals in the UK and the ability of EU nationals to come to the UK to work

> Hotels and restaurants in the UK import approximately 50% of their foodstuff, the majority of which come from Europe. A No Deal would impact significantly on supply chains


> Skills: /Workforce: Increasing difficulty in recruiting well qualified talent, senior and skilled employees. Decline in language skills and diversity of available work force could impact upon key employers remaining in the City.

There are some concerns that there will be a rise in labour exploitation (a form of modern slavery) as skills shortages hit and organised crime fills the vacuum, with exploited UK or trafficked migrant labour. There may be less opportunity to co-ordinate international law enforcement to counteract these trends

Universities: Loss of funding for research & Innovation including funding post Horizon 2020 Impact on the falling value of sterling on EU income.


[2] The council has and does receive funding via EU programmes for various initiatives. Between 2012/13 and 2017/18 approximately £1.7m EU funding was received. Following EU withdrawal it is not clear whether or not access to these funds would continue or be replaced through UK government programmes and funding.


[3] Brighton and Hove Green Party, Dec 2017. ‘Green success as local Council formally backs call for Brexit ‘final deal’ referendum.’




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