Thanks to Monica Harding working with other local Lib Dem members and our campaign with the Surrey Advertiser, the Information Commissioner’s Office have ordered Surrey County Council to release their Brexit Impact assessments.
And guess what, brexit is really bad.
‘No deal’ means that the UK would be treated by the EU as a 3rd country and would be subject to full 3rd country controls, including completing customs declarations and being subject to a variety of border checks.
Brexit is not included as a risk within the National Risk Assessment 2016. Although the risks associated with BREXIT can be drawn from this document
On the Surrey Community Risk Register in a no deal brexit scenario the following risks are identified:
H14 – Food Supply contamination
H60 – High consequence dangerous goods / transport accident
H24 – Emerging Infectious Diseases
H25 – Major outbreak of exotic notifiable disease in animals (including birds)
H37 – Influx of British Nationals
The following risks have also been identified in the SCC report:
- Loss of cover due to industrial action by workers providing a service critical to the preservation of life (such as emergency service workers)
- Local accident on motorways and major trunk roads
- Public Disorder
- Notifiable plant disease / Notifiable exotic invertebrate species
Within SLRF partners own risk management processes there is the risk to the supply chain where goods and products are imported from the European mainland
And the kicker – as of 20 July 2018, HMG has suggested that partners should have plans in face for a four week period of disruption (that is increased controls by EU states at ports, including Eurotunnel) plus a two week period to allow the impact to return to relatively normal levels of service.
- Surrey expect long delays in accessing Dover ports and Eurotunnel in Kent.
- Temporary closure or permanent changes to all or part of the M20 and M26 to support Operation Stack and other mitigations for port delays.
- Significant reduction in the capacity of the Surrey Highway Network, with consequential increase in local and pan Surrey road journey times, impacting on local residents and businesses.
- Significant long term detrimental impact on county’s economic competitiveness, attractiveness
- Significant disruption to health and social care delivery within the community; for patients travelling to hospitals for treatment and for critical staff in getting to work
Significant disruption to the food supply chain with delays in the exportation of food from Britain, and importation of food from the rest of Europe and non EU countries.
Significant disruption to the distribution of medication around the county along with supply chain of medication from outside of Britain.
Significant economic and environmental impacts for Surrey or in other words – total chaos to our supply chains. That’s food and medicine supplies to the shops. We learn of nearly half million homeless in Britain, and one in five children living with severe food insecurity, and then Brexit contingency plans say supplies will be disrupted. Welcome to the land of hunger.
When was the government last right on a timescale? The Prime Minister couldn’t even get the date of the meaningful vote delivered, a simple vote in parliament. What hope ferries delivering vital food and medicine to Britain? How long will four weeks stretch on for with failing Chris Grayling, four months? four years?
Surrey hid it from us, even though it all its contents were already in the public domain. Why?
Surrey County Council has only included in its impact assessment existing published information. Why did they try to hide it from residents? Were they ashamed of their own lack of activity, or following the minority conservative governments orders against the interests of the residents of Surrey?
Surrey County Council obviously feared the residents of Surrey would be unhappy to learn of their plans, and so decide to keep them hidden. They found the only legal argument they could to try and hide behind. To refuse to provide local residents with information about Brexit preparations, to deny FOI requests, and to keep secrets from residents. They relied upon an exception intended for cases of national emergency and public order. They relied upon the section 36(2)(c) exemption – the catch all exception – using “safe space arguments” to delay the publication of supposedly important contingency plans.
And they have been found to have done so improperly, with the ICO ordering the information be released.
A victory for Surrey residents against a secretive county council seeking to keep the residents of Surrey in the dark.
Yet the plans are half baked, barely worth the effort of reading. What a farce of a county council.
Surrey residents left in the dark again.