No Deal

European people living in Devon are anxious about their future after irresponsible Government statements -my advice to troubled constituents

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EU:UK flagsOne of the worst things about Brexit is the harm and anxiety it has caused to many innocent people living in the Seaton and Colyton area and other parts of the country for over 3 years.
People who have made their homes here – benefiting from the EU’s Freedom of Movement which also benefits British people who go to live, work and study in other European countries – have found their lives turned upside down.
Empty threats, for crude political purposes
Recently, as the new hard-right Johnson government has pursued a No Deal Brexit which risks making things dramatically worse for all of us, the Home Secretary Priti Patel issued a threat to ‘end Freedom of Movement from October 31st’.
This has understandably made many local residents who are citizens of other EU countries worried that they might be barred from returning their homes if they go abroad before that date.
My view, after reading many of the experts, is that Patel’s statement was primarily an outrageous political stunt to encourage racists to believe that the Government is on their side.
It is true that in principle, freedom of movement for new EU arrivals could end if there is no deal. However the Government had long given existing EU residents until the end of 2020 to apply for settled or pre-settled status. They have now repeated that the deadline has not changed.
My advice for constituents 
Therefore in principle people who are already resident in the UK do not need to apply for the new status immediately. As things stand, you should be able to come and go freely until the end of 2020 even without settled or pre-settled status.
However it is just possible that some over-zealous border officials, encouraged by nasty right-wing politicians, might cause problems for a few people. For this reason, if you are travelling to the continent and expect to return after 31 October, it may be best to get settled or pre-settled status now, so that you can prove your right to be here, just in case you are stopped at passport control.
I am happy to give further advice by email (cllrmartinshaw@gmail.com) and will phone you to talk about this if you send me your number.

Do you, or a member of your family, rely on medicines to live safely? Sunday Times publishes Government papers which show Johnson is taking us to disaster. We must stop this – spread the word.

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ECO93JLWwAAG6Sn.jpgDo you, or a member of your family, rely on medicines to live safely? Does your job or business depend on fuel supplies working smoothly? Could you survive the recession which a No Deal will bring? Are you or a member of your family an EU citizen, or a UK citizen who lives in another EU country?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, tell your family and friends NOW about the disaster that Boris Johnson is prepared to inflict on us all. Tell our MP Neil Parish, who is supporting this lunacy, exactly what you think about it.

Devon’s food supply, NHS, farming, etc. are dangerously exposed to No Deal Brexit – the County Council must tell Theresa May on Thursday to stop this irresponsible course of action

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There are mounting fears that if Theresa May allows a ‘No Deal’ Brexit to happen on 29th March, Devon will suffer serious harm including:

  • shortages of imported foods, especially as Devon is near the end of many supply lines
  • escalating staff shortages in the NHS and social care as European nurses and care workers are deterred from coming to take up jobs
  • shortage of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors – and care workers migrating to these jobs because of higher pay
  • thousands of tons of animal feed blocked from coming in through Plymouth
  • lamb exports to Europe prevented by Brexit red tape
  • exporting businesses unprepared for the extra bureaucracy
  • more business failures over the next year or so (Brexit has already been implicated in the Flybe, Barden, Ambrosia and Appledore crises).

After Devon County Council leader John Hart said in January that the council ‘hadn’t got a clue yet‘ about planning for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, its chief executive was appointed by the Government – with barely 6 weeks to go before the UK crashed out of the EU – to coordinate local government responses in the South West. But whatever councils do at this late stage, they can only mitigate, not prevent, the likely harms.

Even if No Deal is averted, Brexit has already led to an economic slowdown and job losses, as well as discrimination against Europeans living in Devon. Exit on the terms agreed by May will be less bad than No Deal, but far worse than the bespoke membership of the EU which the UK currently has. When County Councillors consider the situation on Thursday, they have a duty to tell May to take urgent steps to prevent No Deal – and allow the public to vote on whether they want her Brexit or her remain in the EU.

‘We haven’t got a clue yet’, says County Council leader about No Deal planning

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At yesterday’s DCC Cabinet meeting, Leader John Hart answered three questions I had put in writing about estimated risks from Theresa May’s Brexit and No Deal, about help to businesses for No Deal, and emergency planning for disruption to fuel, food and medical supplies in Devon as a result of No Deal.

Cllr Hart did not answer any of my questions. When I asked when he would answer them, he said ‘We haven’t got a clue yet’ about what is going to happen, and that there would be a meeting next week, with just 10 weeks left to when the UK will crash out of the EU with No Deal if no change is made. 

It can be seen that there are no protections in place to protect Devon from the effects of a No Deal. Economy Cabinet member Cllr Rufus Gilbert said ‘we can’t plan for a hypothetical’. Yet No Deal is the default scenario for 29th March.

This is why Devon and Dorset MPs like Ben Bradshaw, Sarah Wollaston and Oliver Letwin are absolutely right to try to block No Deal. I told Cabinet it was irresponsible of them not to support these moves.