CIPFA: Public services must be priority in Brexit negotiations

19 Jun 17

Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, which start today must keep public services at the heart of the debate, CIPFA has declared.

Parliament will sit for two years rather than the usual one to give MPs the time to consider the laws required to make Britain ready for Brexit, Number 10 announced over the weekend.

Chief executive of the CIPFA, Rob Whiteman, today said: “As the Brexit negotiations begin today, it is important that negotiators behind the deal keep the impact on public services at the heart of any debate.

“Indeed, the sustainability of public services is dependent on the overall economic well-being of the UK, and so it is critical that all aspects of the Brexit deal work for the public sector.”

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, said on Saturday: “We will build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans and that means giving parliament the maximum amount of time to scrutinise these bills by holding a two-year session of parliament.

“It will mean we can work together to deliver a successful Brexit deal and a strong social legislative programme that delivers justice and opportunity to everyone.”

Brexit secretary David Davis yesterday left for Brussels with a team of negotiators to meet with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

It is expected they will agree to the structure of the negotiations ahead so officials have a framework within which to discuss issues such as:

  • the rights of EU citizens in the UK
  • future trading relationship
  • the ‘divorce bill’ [UK’s financial commitments to EU]
  • Brits living abroad

Davis said: “Now, the hard work begins. We must secure a deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom, and enables us to become a truly global Britain.

“Leaving gives us the opportunity to forge a bright new future for the UK — one where we are free to control our borders, pass our own laws and do what independent sovereign countries do.”

The government also announced it was preparing new bills on customs and immigration alongside the Great Repeal Bill, which will convert existing EU law into British law.

The Great Repeal Bill is expected to be introduced as part of the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday.

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