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The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union

Building on the LGA briefing of 22 December 2016, this note sets out our analysis of the new policy announcements and how we will pursue the needs of local government.

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Key messages

Double devolution: The White Paper states that the Government will ‘continue to champion devolution to local government and are committed to devolving greater powers to local government where there is economic rationale to do so.'  The Local Government Association (LGA) called for this immediately after the referendum. We welcome this approach and will continue to work closely with the local government associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to develop the detail of ‘double devolution' to ensure that powers repatriated from the EU do not stop at Whitehall, Stormont, Cardiff Bay and Holyrood.

Local regeneration funding: Councils welcome the reaffirmation in the White Paper that European funding for local regeneration will be guaranteed up to the point the UK exits the European Union (EU). It is crucial that central and local government now work together to develop a locally driven UK replacement for EU ‘regional aid'.

Trade: It is clear from both the Prime Minister's speech on 17 January 2017 and the White Paper that the work to develop new trading links is taking place. Councils have a long track record of building successful European and international relationships that have secured trade and investment, boosted jobs and infrastructure and helped attract visitors up and down the country. Local government therefore has an important role to play in this area.