More clarity needed before council can offer post-Brexit support
- Credit: Sub
North Somerset Council voted against a proposal to begin supporting European Union (EU) citizens living in the district ahead of Brexit.
Cllr Mike Bell proposed the motion at a North Somerset Council meeting on November 13 for the authority to provide relevant support to those who will be affected when Britain leaves the EU.
An estimated 7,000 people from EU countries live in the district, but as Brexit is not due to take place until March 29 next year, councillors voted to look at the matter again closer to that time.
Cllr Bell said: “Brexit remains controversial but I think it is important for us to reassure people we can help them out.
“Many EU residents are employed locally and pay council tax, they are faced with a huge amount of uncertainty and are worried about it in respect of their children’s education and the support services available to them.
“When we talk about projects in 2019 we are already doing work for them so the idea this motion is premature is ludicrous.
“It would be shameful if we do not prepare to put in place appropriate measures.”
- 1 Four jailed for total of more than 40 years for raid at drug dealer's home
- 2 Man jailed for stealing high-powered cars
- 3 Brilliant Bailey signs for high-flying Bristol Rovers
- 4 Named: 52 people fined for dropping cigarettes and dogs off leads
- 5 Residents fear mysterious CCTV camera is looking into homes
- 6 HGV crashes into BUILDING in Banwell
- 7 New boss Hutt 'couldn't say yes fast enough' to Winscombe post
- 8 Hornets celebrate historical promotion to National 2 West
- 9 Rat-infested house used for drug dealing boarded up
- 10 Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you
The Mercury reported in September the uncertainty around Brexit has prompted a fall in net migration in North Somerset.
Data from the Office for National Statistics recorded 751 people immigrated to the district from mid-2016 to mid-2017, compared to the 844 who moved in the 12 months preceding the 2016 referendum.
Council leader Nigel Ashton called the motion ‘premature’ as at this stage in the Brexit negotiations ‘no-one knows exactly what is going to happen’.
On Friday Stephen Barclay was named the new Brexit Secretary in place of Dominic Raab in the latest of staff shake-ups as the draft withdrawal agreement for Britain to leave the EU was published.
Cllr Mark Canniford said: “A lot of people who will be affected by Brexit live and work in our town centres, they shop locally and make a massive contribution to our communities.
“This council should make people feel comfortable that North Somerset is a place they want to be living in the future.”
Cllr Denise Hunt added: “These are people who live in our communities and we are sending the wrong message.”