Council preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit have revealed worries over food shortages, rioting and an increase in homelessness.
The concerns were raised with Newcastle Borough Council following meetings of a Brexit Working Group.
It comes as the clock is ticking towards New Year’s Eve when the UK’s transition period comes to an end and we could exit the European Union without a trade deal.
The Brexit Working Group’s concerns include:
- Disorder outside shops – It says: “Work with partners to consider the potential impact of any perceived shortages such as food, and ensure adequate plans are in place to deal with disorder outside food shops and supermarkets in the event of shortages of a particular item.”
- Increase in homelessness – It says: “Work with partner organisations to monitor incidents, and scope the need for additional resources.”
- Protest concerns – It says: “Review the evacuation procedure and develop a lockdown procedure for council buildings and local businesses which are vulnerable to protest.”
- Staff vaccinations – It says: “Encourage businesses to look at staff inoculations against influenza and pneumonia via a communication plan.”
There is a warning that food shortages could also impact on local foodbanks.
The working group adds: “There is a possible impact on local foodbanks having insufficient food to meet demand.”
The matter was discussed at this week’s meeting of the borough council’s audit and standards committee. A meeting of the Staffordshire Resilience Forum has also taken place to discuss the latest Brexit developments.
Council finance chief Jan Willis said: “The key risk we’ve identified for Newcastle is around supply chain resilience. If there is a no-trade deal scenario and we experience disruption to our supply chain, then we need to be in a position to manage that. So that is the key risk that we are focusing on locally.”