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CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) highlights that, as Brexit will have profound legal, technical and financial implications for public services, the impact on the sector must be kept in the foreground as the UK renegotiates its relationship with the EU.
The Institute gathered the concerns of leading experts for the latest publication on Brexit as part of CIPFA’s Public Finance (PF) Perspectives Series. Titled ‘The Brexit Balance Sheet: Weighing Up the Public Sector Costs’, it has been launched today at an exclusive debate event in London.
The public service and Brexit experts highlighted that leaving the EU will have an immeasurable impact on all aspects of UK public services, including areas such as staffing, funding and procurement. Therefore, it is critical that the most effective negotiation choices are made to ensure the sector’s sustainability is not undermined.
They also identified that Brexit will provide a catalyst for much-needed public service reform, and so, during the disentangling process, exploring the opportunities for the sector must be given equal ministerial consideration as efforts to avoid the risks.
Experts identified the following concerns and priorities for public services during the Brexit negotiations:
In order to promote and protect the interests of public services during the Brexit negotiation process, CIPFA has launched an independent Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services. The group will be chaired by Julia Goldsworthy, former MP and Treasury Special Advisor in the Coalition Government.
Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of CIPFA, commented:
“As we begin to unwind a 40-year-old trading and political relationship, we must ensure that all negotiators, despite their political differences, are singing from the same hymn sheet – that any deal must strengthen and not weaken public services.
“Ensuring the sustainability of public services isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. Brexit will be the largest-scale policy and legislation exercise we’ve undertaken and will inevitably change the delivery of public services. We must make sure that this is a positive, and not a negative, change.
“Public service leaders must assert themselves throughout the Brexit process and play a visible role throughout the negotiations. CIPFA’s Brexit Advisory Commission will provide the means to do so by representing the interests of the sector.”
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The leading experts that contributed to the latest PF Perspectives publication on Brexit also identified the following:
PF Perspectives is produced by CIPFA and Public Finance. It is a collection of essays that are designed to stimulate discussion on key public finance and policy issues. This edition weighs up the benefits and costs of Brexit for public services. Please call Saskia Black for a copy.