Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Brexit

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what preparations his Department is making for the UK leaving the EU without an agreement; and how much funding has been allocated to those preparations.

Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

We remain focused on ensuring our smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU with a deal as soon as possible. Parliament has rejected leaving without a deal multiple times, although this remains the legal default at the end of the extension period. In light of the agreed extension, we will make sensible decisions about the timing and pace at which some of this work is progressing, but we continue to prepare for all Brexit scenarios. Ministers continue to review these preparations to ensure the UK is prepared for all Brexit scenarios.

As a responsible Government, we've been preparing to minimise any disruption in the event of no deal for nearly three years. We are putting in place a range of mitigations, these include ensuring we have comprehensive contingency plans to enable us to support local authorities, communities and local economies in a no deal scenario; a programme of work to understand and manage the implications on our housing delivery objectives; and managing our exit from existing European funding programmes, progressing work on the replacement UK-Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Treasury has allocated over £4.2 billion of additional funding to departments and Devolved Administrations for EU exit preparations so far. This breaks down as £412 million over the spending review period for the Department for Exiting the European Union, Department for International Trade and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Autumn Statement 2016); £286 million of additional funding for 2017/18 (a full breakdown of which can be found in Supplementary Estimates 2017/18); over £1.5 billion for 2018/19 (Supplementary Estimates 2018/19); and over £2 billion for 2019/20 (Main Estimates 2019/20).

This funding is to cover all exit scenarios and is in addition to departmental efforts to reprioritise from business as usual toward preparations for the UK's departure from the EU. Work on no-deal exit preparations cannot be readily separated from other EU exit work, given the significant overlap in plans in many cases.

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