Brexit advice team set up by Dundee City Council

Chief Executive of Dundee City Council Mr David Martin

Dundee City Council is set to deploy a new team who will advise the authority on the local impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

The Brexit Advisory Team, made up of six of the council’s most senior officials, will monitor Brexit developments and work to assess its impact on the city.

Council leader John Alexander, the driving force behind a new impact report and the advisory team proposal, said Dundee had to be ahead of the game in navigating the “minefield” of Brexit.

He explained: “Whatever your view on Brexit, it’s clear that there will be a minefield to navigate in the coming years and I want to ensure that Dundee is being proactive in its response and in positioning ourselves.”

Local sectors at risk of “detrimental” impact as a result of Brexit include the city’s two universities — which have 350 EU nationals in their staff roster — its creative industries and tourism.

It was “absolutely critical” for the city to be prepared, he continued, adding: “Creating an advisory team to help guide policy and investment is a step forward and I am unaware of other cities taking this forward although I’m sure they will be planning.”

Following the most recent round of EU funding for 2014-2020, Dundee City Council had secured £6.9 million to spend on a variety of programmes in the city.

A report prepared by the office of chief executive David Martin suggests such funding is unlikely to be available in future and that Brexit will have a “detrimental” impact.

Dundee has already been dealt a major blow by Brexit, when the city’s European Capital of Culture bid was nullified by the European Commission in November.

If it had been successful, the bid — which cost at least £350,000 — could have brought in £40m of economic benefits, according to the report.

The advisory team proposal will go before committee next week.

Meanwhile, Angus MP Kirstene Hair has secured a parliamentary debate on securing foreign seasonal workers in order to support local agriculture.

Ms Hair told a Westminster committee that 80,000 migrant workers were needed to support farming, but numbers were falling in the wake of the Brexit vote, pushing firms to “breaking point”.

She hopes for the Commons debate to be held before the end of March.