Dundee City Council has revealed contingency plans which could see tinned and frozen food distributed to schools and care services in the event of a no deal Brexit.
In line with UK Government rules, the authority is keeping the core of its resilience plans under wraps.
However, chief executive David Martin says in a new report that Tayside Contracts has tinned and frozen food ready in case fresh food supplies dry up.
Meanwhile, the council is having to “prioritise” which EU-funded schemes to keep – such as the Dundee Employability Timeline, which helps locals find jobs.
It all comes amid a warning the city could be facing an exodus of EU citizens post Brexit after it was reported that as few as one in five Europeans in the city had applied for settled status to date.
Only 1,640 local people have applied to remain in the UK after it leaves the European Union.
Official figures on the number of EU nationals in Dundee have not been published since 2011 – but a 2016 Holyrood estimate puts it as high as 10,000.
Under the EU Settlement Scheme, EU citizens are eligible for settled status if they have five years’ UK residency, or “pre-settled” status if they are yet to hit the half-decade threshold.
Both have similar rights but “pre-settleds” cannot leave the UK for longer than two years.
The deadline for applications is the end of 2020 in the event of no deal, or June 2021 if the UK’s withdrawal agreement passes.
Dundee’s Citizens Advice Bureau has been helping EU nationals to apply – but has reported snags in the process.
Its manager, Tracy McNally, said: “If people have been here for more than five years, but the system can only find less than five years, the system offers them pre-settled status with an option to switch to settled status and provide evidence.
“That option is not easy to understand and the default is to take pre-settled so, if they don’t know or spot to change the tick box, it is really easy to accept pre-settled status without knowing exactly what you have done.”
Chris Law, SNP MP for Dundee West, has criticised the UK Government’s treatment of EU citizens, whom he called “a backbone” to Dundee life.
Mr Law said: “EU citizens contribute so much to Dundee life, and we should be proud that so many people have chosen to make Dundee their home.
“EU citizens should never have been made to apply to retain their right to live, work and study in this country.
“Instead, we have seen the UK Government rush through the Settled Status scheme, and I am concerned about the rise in the number of people who should qualify for full settled status being awarded pre-settled status instead.”
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The Home Office says more than 1.5 million people have applied – and it is actively looking for reasons to approve them.
Minister of State for the Home Office Brandon Lewis said last month: “EU citizens are our friends and neighbours, and we want them to stay in the UK.”
Uncertainty still reigns with just a month to go until Brexit.
Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce reports that firms are holding off on making plans because of the “unknowns and ever-changing landscape”.
Under the so-called Benn Act, Boris Johnson will have to seek an extension if he cannot get a deal passed by October 19.
The prime minister is resolute the UK will leave on October 31.