No-deal Brexit would have huge impact on rural Shropshire, say councillors
A no-deal Brexit would have a huge impact on rural Shropshire, councillors have claimed, despite members voting not to adopt a motion against it.
Green Party Councillor Julian Dean put a motion to full council calling on the authority to oppose leaving the EU without a deal and to insist that all EU nationals will be welcome to stay in the county.
But Conservative members on the council did not adopt the motion, voting in tandem against it.
Councillor Dean said: “I want this council to recognise the damage that is likely to result from a no-deal Brexit, highlighted by the ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ reports.
"For example, we note the threat to people’s health due to the risk of shortages in medicines, and we note the threat to the livelihoods of our farming community due to the additional checks and changes to tariffs. We note that NFU President Minette Batters has said that a no-deal Brexit will be ‘socially and economically absolutely disastrous.’
“This council further recognises the Home Secretary’s plans for a no-deal Brexit may well have a negative impact on those members of our community who have chosen to move from elsewhere in the EU to live and work in Shropshire, many of whom are essential workers in the NHS and in our agriculture sector.
“This council states, loud and clear, to EU citizens living in Shropshire; ‘you continue to be welcome here’. This council calls on the MPs representing Shropshire to work to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
“Finally, this council calls on the leader to write to the Prime Minister to make it clear to him that Shropshire Council is opposed to a no-deal Brexit which will harm our community.”
But councillors voted not to adopt the motion, despite hearing that a no-deal would hit farmers in the rural county hard.
Councillor Heather Kidd said: “No deal will be significantly difficult for farmers. I have been meeting with farmers on the border and they are worried.” Councillor Andy Boddington, for Ludlow North, added: “A no-deal Brexit will destroy rural Shropshire.”
But Councillor Dave Temellen, independent, made a speech which was applauded by the Tory group. He said: “This move by openly anti-Brexit members to continue their delaying tactics is to be regretted.
“The number of votes cast for Remain in Shropshire was 78,897, the total number of votes for Leave was 104,166 which is a wide enough margin to convince anyone that Shropshire’s vote to leave the EU was both conclusive and informed.”