“No-deal Brexit documents reveal UK councils expect food and medicine shortages and civil unrest”

Is this why Swire is jumping ship?

Local authorities are bracing themselves for widespread food, fuel and medicine shortages, civil unrest and job losses in the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal at the end of October.

Well over half of 63 local authorities nationwide expect a shortage of basic necessities if the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, according to Freedom of Information requests sent by the People’s Vote campaign.

According to the documents compiled by the campaign:

68% of councils said they expected food shortages.
59% of councils said they were preparing for fuel shortages.
52% expected medicine shortages.
65% are preparing for “civil unrest,” “increased tensions,” and “public disorder.”

https://www.insider.com/no-deal-brexit-documents-reveal-councils-expect-food-shortages-riots-2019-9

Government Brexit consultants – expensive and secret

“Government departments have ploughed nearly £100m into “overly secretive” Brexit consultant contracts since the 2016 referendum, MPs have said.

Publicly available information on consultancy work to prepare for Brexit is lacking and in some cases has taken too long – up to 237 days – to materialise, according to a Public Accounts Committee report out today.

Government guidelines say details of contracts should be published within 90 days of being awarded.

“Departments have been overly secretive about what the consultants are doing,” the PAC said.

“When departments have published information on consultancy work, usually later than they should have, they have failed to meet the government’s own transparency standards.”

Even when documents are published they are often “over-zealously redacted, the committee added.

The MPs also accused the government of being “overly relaxed” that 96% of the £97m spent on consultancy contracts has gone on just six large companies, despite the governments supposed “aspirations for more government work to go to small and medium-sized enterprise”.

The committee report suggested the true cost of Brexit consultancy work was not known, due to differing definitions of ‘consultancy’.

It said: “There is a widening gap between the Cabinet Office’s analysis of data on overall spending on consultancy services, not just to support Brexit, and expenditure reported by the departments.

“It appears that different departments are choosing to categorise their spending on consultancy services in different ways.”

For 2017-18 the Cabinet Office said total spend on all consultancy – not just for Brexit – was £1.5bn whereas analysis of invoices from individual departments suggested only £0.3bn was spent.

The Cabinet Office has been approached for a response. …”

Source: CIPFA (pay wall)

Finally, Parish on Brexit …

Owl isn’t convinced!

“With the current unrest in Parliament – linked to indecision around Brexit – Honiton Nub News contacted local MP Neil Parish to find out his thoughts on what is going on.

He said: “I supported the PM in his call for a general election, so the country can decide who deals with Brexit.

“Parliament is not functioning properly.

“There is no majority for the executive, MPs are not respecting the referendum result – and are now refusing to face public opinion.

“It can’t go on. After Party conference, the impasse must be broken at the earliest opportunity.

“I want to get on with leaving the EU, recruiting 20,000 extra police officers, providing a £14 billion cash boost for schools, 20 new hospital upgrades and transformative infrastructure investment on transport and superfast fibre broadband.

“These are all things which are crucial for our area.”

https://honiton.nub.news/n/local-mp-neil-parish-shares-his-views-on-brexit-and-the-current-state-of-parliament

Ex-Tory cabinet minister Letwin (now Independent MP for West Dorset) back second referendum

The schism between East Devon and West Dorset MPs widens:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-boris-johnson-latest-tory-oliver-letwin-no-deal-referendum-eu-a9098571.html

South West, which voted to leave the EU, slowest growing English region since the 2016 referendum”

South-west growth 0.25% since referendum, slowest of all regions since the referendum in 2016. Hello, Local Enterprise Partnership – HELLO! Any response? Any new figures? Any new ideas?

London’s financial services sector has been in recession since the third quarter of 2017, regional GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.

In the 18 months to the end of last year the capital’s banking and asset management industry shrank 11 per cent. The ONS did not explain the slump but it is likely to be related to Brexit as banks and insurers downsized British operations and directed new investment overseas.

The regional GDP figures, which cover England and Wales, revealed that the South West, which voted to leave the EU, has been the slowest growing English region since the 2016 referendum. It grew 0.25 per cent between the second quarter of 2016 and the end of last year.

The figures, which start in the second quarter of 2012 and run to the final quarter of last year, show that London has grown the fastest, expanding 21 per cent, while the North East and South West have been slowest, at 5.5 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

London’s success has been despite the downturn in the square mile. Financial services contributed £132 billion to GDP last year, 6.9 per cent of total output, with half of that from the capital. Of the industry’s 1.1 million jobs, 400,000 were in London last year, analysis by the House of Commons library showed. …”