Council prepared for fuel shortages ahead of Brexit

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Dundee City Council is preparing for fuel shortages if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal.

Stern warnings have been signalled by the local authority in its latest report on the negative effects the country’s EU exit will have if no deal can be arranged before March 29.

Dundee City Council has already put in place plans to deal with immediate disruption to commodities like fuel, which it will have to do in conjunction with the Local Authority Resilience Group Scotland (LARGS) and the Tayside Local Resilience Partnership – whose members include NHS Tayside, Police Scotland and Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife Council partners.

The report, to be discussed by councillors at Monday’s policy and resources committee meeting, outlines a number of issues Brexit will create in the city.

Overall, the council’s assessment is that the uncertainty of not knowing how Brexit will unfold is causing a delay in obtaining more resolute figures.

If the Prime Minister’s deal is passed through parliament, the report notes an immediate impact would not be felt, due to the pre-arranged transition period.

If the UK leaves without a deal, preparations for medicine stockpiling, dealing with fuel shortages and disruption to the food chain would have to be “formally activated”.

A third option – a general election or second referendum – would, at the outset, cause further uncertainty.

The council has outlined preparations currently being undertaken to limit any potential impact.

One of the largest constraints identified is funding for capital projects.

The local authority identifies, through a number of EU based grants, loans and funds, there is currently £7 million being handed over through nine different programmes – including the smart cities fund, the employability pipeline and the business gateway.

The UK government has promised to match funding commitments currently given by EU programmes through the so-call UK Prosperity Fund.

As of the council’s latest meeting with Westminster officials, but there has been “little detail” as to how much money will be made available or indeed how the council can apply for it.

Council finances would also most likely be impacted by leaving the EU, including the a further fall in sterling’s value, a rise in capital and labour costs because of an exodus of European labour and a rise in the cost of borrowing and interest rates.