Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 14th August 2019

I can understand why people get sick and tired of hearing about Brexit. Three years on from the referendum, the issue just drags on-and-on, providing an endless source of arguments on the news and in our day-to-day lives.

Yet, it’s not something which can just go away, the consequences of bailing out without a deal–by far the quickest approach–are so serious that even our hard Brexit-supporting Conservative Government say they would still prefer to leave with a deal.

Nonetheless, the Conservatives do now seem willing to risk our country’s future on a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, with every part of the public sector being approached to help prepare. After 38 months of uncertainty, for the Government to only be starting on this work with a little over two months left highlights unbelievable levels of incompetence and comes across as more of an attempt to have people they can blame when things go wrong than a genuine attempt to prepare communities.

Despite the deep concerns many of us have with the Government’s approach, councils will all do their best to plan for the consequences of Brexit in order to protect their residents.

However, in all the letters and phone calls with ministers, it is extremely worrying to find almost no detail, just constant requests for information from councils and general requests that we do everything we can to get ready. It comes across very strongly that the Government is aware that they do not have time to prepare proactively for all the potential problems and so are just gearing up to try and deal with them reactively when they arise. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, a failure to plan is planning to fail and it is all of our futures they are gambling with.

A ‘No Deal’ Brexit wasn’t what was offered at the referendum or at the last General Election, it has simply never been put to the voters. If that’s really what the Government thinks the public wants, maybe they should ask us before shutting down Parliament and forcing the UK down a road we are totally unprepared for?

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