No deal Brexit could mean passports are checked at Porthcawl

A no deal Brexit could mean one Welsh council has to check passports at Porthcawl.

The measure is listed in Bridgend County Borough Council’s risk register which documents the risks it thinks the county could face after Brexit and steps to mitigate them.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29, though MPs voted on Thursday evening to seek to delay Brexit.

In papers which go before cabinet on March 19, officers say there is a lack of clarity about the council’s role as Porthcawl Harbour Authority.

This could mean that the council has to check the passports of people coming into Porthcawl Marina.

It could also have to play a role in ensuring produce from commercial fishing vessels is traceable.

Officers say correspondence from the Department for Environment Rural Affairs has indicated the council might have to take on the roles.

The Swansea Bay Port Health Authority is responsible for regulating activities linked to commercial fishing and officers within the council’s shared regulatory services are in contact with the authority.

The risk register states: “They have advised that they [the port authority] are liaising with the business that lands catches at Porthcawl.

“The catch is currently taken to action in Plymouth and then to the EU and it is unclear at this stage where any additional certification may need to originate.

“The shared regulatory service will feedback as this becomes clear.”

 

Officers said staff and commercial fishermen would be kept updated with developments and given the opportunity to highlight any concerns.

Other risks involve disruption to the food supply for schools and care homes, a workforce shortage in the social care sector and the possibility of an increase in tensions in communities and a rise in the far right.

Officers believe supply disruptions are likely in all cases but particularly in respect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Warehouse space is limited, according to officers who say food companies across the UK have been stockpiling food and ingredients, and there is no additional capacity nationwide remaining.

The council says its catering services which takes care of catering in schools and care homes has stockpiled six weeks of dry/ambient goods as a precautionary measure.

It has been working with its suppliers since late 2018 to ensure “adequate supplies” are in place.

BCBC has established the internal cross-directorate Brexit forum, chaired by interim chief executive Mark Shephard, to explore the potential impact of Brexit on service delivery along with actions to mitigate against risks.

 

Officers said the risk assessment was “very much a live document”, and provided a snapshot of work at a specific time.

In his report to councillors next week Mr Shephard said: “The cross-cutting nature of Brexit means that there are multiple implications for the council across a range of council services.

“Key areas covered within the risk assessment include legal, workforce, supply chains, finance including funding, emergency planning, social care, education, economy and community cohesion.

“Given the high level of uncertainty around the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, in considering the potential implications to council, we have had to focus on the immediate and short term risks.

“This does not mean that the medium and longer term implications of Brexit are not being considered by all service areas.

“The wider implications of Brexit continue to be explored with action plans developed as more detail is made available.”

Cabinet members will be asked to note the work being undertaken by the Brexit forum and consider the content of the risk register.

Article source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/no-deal-brexit-could-mean-15974512