Hackney Council celebrates the borough’s long history of being a diverse and inclusive place, which remains proudly outward looking and internationalist, welcoming refugees and migrants from all over the world, including the European Union. The borough has been enriched culturally, economically and socially by migrants who have made Hackney their home.
Hackney Council welcomes that Hackney had the second highest Remain vote in the UK (after Lambeth), with 78.5% of people voting to stay in the EU.
Hackney Council notes that cultural diversity is integral to our community and our way of life and that around 15% of our citizens — 41,500 residents — are EU citizens from other member states. These European citizens help sustain our public services and make an enormous contribution to the civic, economic and cultural life of this Borough.
Hackney Council acknowledges the negative impact that the uncertainty caused by Brexit poses to the local economy and public services in Hackney, already damaged by austerity, as well as EU citizens from other member states who are residents of Hackney.
Hackney Council expresses its concern that a Parliament in deadlock, thanks to no Party having an outright majority, is being forced into choosing between a ‘bad deal’ or a ‘no deal Brexit’ by the Prime Minister and this Government.
Hackney Council is concerned with the impact that no deal could have on our borough and this Council, its workforce and its capacity to deliver services for its residents and businesses.
This motion recognises the work Hackney Council has undertaken to plan ahead in an attempt to ensure service continuity and provide reassurance and support for Council employees, residents and businesses at a time of great national uncertainty.
· Creating the ‘Hackney Loves You’ campaign to recognise the contribution of EU citizens from other member states to Hackney.
· Communicating with EU residents about how they can get advice and support about their status, including holding an open meeting with the support of the EU commission.
· Supporting and signposting employees of the Council who are EU citizens from other member states to advice on citizenship rights and the application procedures required to remain in the UK post March 2019.
· Covering the cost of the settled status fee for Council employees.
· Signposting local businesses to advice on international trade, employment rights and regulatory requirements post March 2019.
· Ensuring the Council’s existing supply chains suffer minimal disruption and that the Council can respond swiftly and adeptly to changing supply chains post March 2019.
· Preparing for changes in the lead up to and post March 2019 to a range of UK law and regulatory regimes which are currently governed by the EU.
The Council firmly rejects a ‘no deal Brexit’ which will not just affect the Council’s ability to provide services but it will also affect the Borough’s local economy and the well-being and prosperity of residents, both EU and UK citizens, living in the Borough.
Those who champion the UK crashing out of the European Union still remain silent about what their alternative will offer other than to call on UK businesses to trade on World Trade Organisation rules. It has been shown that trading under these rules would weaken the UK economy, forcing entirely avoidable hardship upon millions of struggling families, individuals and businesses.
Hackney Council therefore supports the call on the Prime Minister and her Government to rule out a ‘no deal Brexit’ and be prepared to extend Article 50 to avoid the UK crashing out with ‘no deal’, and supports the right of Parliament to stop such a ‘no deal’ scenario.
Hackney Council supports this action as a first credible step in achieving the call for a General Election or ensuring enough time is given for all options, including campaigning for a public or ‘people’s vote’, with a clear option to remain in the EU, on the table. Council believes this would resolve the current political deadlock and provide the democratic endorsement, or not, of a final deal.
The Council believes this is necessary to safeguard the well being and prosperity of the residents and businesses of our Borough.
The Council reiterates our support for Hackney’s EU residents from other member states, and would ask the Mayor and administration to communicate the substance and adoption of this motion to the Government, local residents and businesses.