Lack of clarity from government ministers has caused local leaders to undertake their own contingency plans on Brexit, revealing that a ‘No Deal’ exit could leave Manchester with critical shortages in labour, medicine, and food.
Local businesses have highlighted that supermarkets and public services alike are not equipped for stockpiling of resources; and so could be caught short if European deliveries cannot reach Greater Manchester after the UK leaves the EU.
A Manchester City Council report said “urgent work” was required in a range of areas, including housing, investment, higher education and the environment.
The report highlighted that as a city with a high university population, and with the University of Manchester being the city’s biggest employer, Brexit will hit education in Manchester hard. With projected fewer international applications, limited or non-existent EU funding and more limited access to European research and innovation, the University of Manchester is expected to suffer along with the city and region.
With many workers coming from the EU to work at both the University and across the city, this is anticipated to have huge implications. The report states that Brexit “will have significant social implications”, confirming that an analysis into how social cohesion and issues are playing out is already underway.
For students who travel far and wide, or even avoid train prices by flying domestically, Brexit is also set to disrupt that. Changes in aviation rules and border control may well cause major disruption on surrounding roads, and long queues at Manchester Airport. This has led Manchester Councillors to push the government to ensure access to the single aviation market in order to allow Manchester Airport to continue growing.
With more analysis and discussions planned, the future is in no way certain for what a post-Brexit Manchester will look like.