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Highland Council's Covid recovery group says it is 'pleased' with how the local authority is planning for Brexit


By Scott Maclennan

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Depute leader councillor Alasdair Christie, chief executive Donna Manson, budget leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon.
Depute leader councillor Alasdair Christie, chief executive Donna Manson, budget leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon.

The Highland Council board tasked with the economic recovery from the Covid pandemic has reviewed the work underway to prepare for Brexit both internally and with partners at local and national level.

The current transition period for the UK to leave the EU is due to end on December 31 with Number 10 ruling a further extension even in the event of a no-deal.

The council has appointed single points of contact within each service to look at the impacts of Brexit in their areas of responsibility.

They form an EU exit tactical group that is considering risks, mitigation and business continuity plans to reflect EU exit issues.

Recovery Board chairman Cllr Alasdair Christie said: “Much of our work has been done by our staff but we are also working with partners through the Highlands and Islands European Partnership.

“Preparations have included making sure we have robust business continuity plans to take account of any potential impact Brexit may have so we can ensure the continuity of essential services.

"We are also working closely with our multi-agency Resilience Partners at local, regional and national levels to monitor the changing situation and assess any risks and plan mitigation.

“I’m particularly pleased with the work that has been done to update businesses and make them aware of new obligations. At a time of such uncertainty we want to be as prepared as possible to make sure of the best outcome for Highland.”

The Brexit working group is chaired by Cllr Jimmy Gray who said: “We have been working closely with our partners and both the Scottish and UK governments to understand the specific implications arising from Brexit which may have an impact on the Highlands.

“The council's Brexit working group, which shares information and works closely with the recovery board, willnext meet on October 28 and discussions and issues raised on Brexit will be reported back to the next recovery board.”

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