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Open letter of unity from Brighton & Hove’s political leaders

Gscene Editorial Team December 22, 2019

Brighton and Hove: Our City of Sanctuary. 

Leading politicians from across the political spectrum in Brighton and Hove City Council have published an open letter of unity for its residents, businesses and the millions of visitors that come to Brighton & Hove each year. The letter has been written in immediate response to the now decided departure from the European Union. 

Following parliaments confirmation of the EU withdrawal bill, Nancy Platts, Leader of the Labour group, Phelim MacCafferty, Convenor of the Green Group and Steve Bell, Leader of the Conservative Group have collectively released the following statement. 

“Our city is well-known for its free thinking, open and inclusive nature. We promote acceptance and respect for difference and we are an internationally recognised City of Sanctuary. These things are at the heart of what we do and will remain central to our future journey.

We value the contributions of all our residents who have made their home here and contribute to our vibrant city life. We hope our EU citizens will stay in the city and are working together with local and national partners to ensure we prepare responsibly to support them through any potential changes caused by Brexit.

As political leaders representing different parties, we have different views on many subjects but we are united in our determination that Brighton & Hove’s reputation as an open and welcoming place will continue.

We are proud to be leaders in a diverse and inclusive city and we have faith in the fortitude of the people we represent.

Our vision is for a fairer city with a sustainable future and we believe that by working with our residents and businesses to showcase the best of Brighton & Hove we can achieve this.  

The future is in all of our hands”

The government’s bill to leave the EU on 31 January 2020 was agreed by parliament on 20 December 2019. MPs and the House of Lords now have a further three days from Tuesday January 7th to conclude their debate.

The government has said it will get the bill into law in time for the 31 January Brexit deadline.

However, this is only the withdrawal bill. Brexit will not be finished on 31 January 2020 but this date marks the start of the next phase. There are a significant number of issues to be addressed, including trade talks with the EU. If no trade deal has been agreed by the end of June, then the UK could potentially leave without a deal at the end of December 2020. Despite previous discussions and parliamentary processes to the contrary, the prospect of ‘no deal’ is very much back on the table. 

For EU residents of Brighton and Hove, and indeed the whole UK the deadlines for the EU Settlement Scheme are now clearly set. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It is free to apply.

See here how Brighton and Hove City Council is preparing for Brexit and what support is available.