This Cambridgeshire council is ready to set up Brexit committee to consider the future - should Fenland and East Cambs be doing the same?

There are calls for a Brexit task force in South Cambs. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are calls for a Brexit task force in South Cambs. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are calls for a specialist group to investigate the effects of Brexit on the economy of South Cambridgeshire.

Politicians from across the political spectrum would be involved in the group, which would be tasked with investigating what could happen politically and economically to the district if the UK were to leave the EU.

Councillors from Cambridge City Council are also encouraged to take part.

A report which will come before South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday (July 26) proposes the establishment of a “cross party advisory group” to review and advise the leader and cabinet on the potential impact of Brexit on South Cambridgeshire.

While the report acknowledges it will be “difficult to predict” what effect Brexit will have on South Cambridgeshire, it calls on local councillors to work together to prepare.

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The report recommends the cabinet establishes a time limited advisory group to review and report on the potential impacts of Brexit on South Cambridgeshire and to recommend actions to mitigate those impacts where relevant and appropriate.

The advisory group should be made up of five Liberal Democrats, two Conservatives and one Labour or Independent member. It is also advised the cabinet requests that the advisory group consider the involvement of city council members.

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“The negotiation process in respect of the UK leaving the EU continues to progress,” the report reads.

“Whilst it is difficult at this stage to predict with confidence what the implications for South Cambridgeshire will be, establishing a Brexit Advisory Group will assist the council in understanding the potential impact and developing the council’s approach to respond to that impact.

“The advisory group would review and advise the leader and cabinet on the risks, challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit and to make recommendations on any actions the council can take to mitigate the impacts, such as lobbying or undertaking local projects.”

Last week (July 19), Cambridge City Council heard from leader, Cllr Lewis Herbert, that he was already working with Cllr Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, to consider how the city and its neighbours could safeguard the economy against a “chaotic exit” from the EU.

Cllr Herbert said: “There is a major fear of a chaotic exit from the EU. We have to make sure we protect jobs.”

At the same meeting, the city council resolved to “write to the Prime Minister to make clear how her Government is putting Cambridge at risk”, and to “share this with our local MPs, and support Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner in achieving the best possible outcome for Cambridge”.

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