LGA briefing - EU (Withdrawal) Bill Committee Stage, days 1 and 2, House of Commons, November 2017

EU laws impact many of the council services that affect people's day-to-day lives, from protecting people from unsafe food when they eat out to regulating how councils buy goods and services.


Key messages

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will convert the entire body of EU law into UK law, with the intention of allowing businesses to continue operating and providing fairness to individuals, knowing the rules have not changed when the UK leaves the EU. This legal certainty must be given to councils too. EU laws impact many of the council services that affect people's day-to-day lives, from protecting people from unsafe food when they eat out to regulating how councils buy goods and services. The conversion of EU law will impact on our most important public services.   
  • Principles supporting devolution to and consultation of local government have also been included in EU treaties. There must be no loss of powers for councils on the day the UK leaves membership of the EU. Just as the roles and powers of the devolved administrations are set out in the Bill, so too must the position of councils be formally enshrined in law.  
  • Former EU powers will start to be reviewed after the Bill is passed. Brexit should not simply mean a transfer of powers from Brussels to Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay. It must lead to new legislative freedoms and flexibilities for councils so that residents and businesses benefit. Taking decisions over how to run local services closer to where people live is key to improving them and saving money.  
  • Council leaders want to work with the Government to create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to avoid defaulting to a silo-approach and creating a like-for like replacement of the current EU programme.   
  • A lighter-touch procurement system is needed to simplify the processes and provide more flexibilities to promote local growth. It is vital that local government can procure more promptly whilst also lowering high administration costs for businesses and councils.    

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