Brexit could leave Lancashire out of pocket

The European Parliament in Strasbourg
The European Parliament in Strasbourg

Businesses in Lancashire are being warned that they could face losing million of pounds in funding from the EU as a result of Brexit.

A report to Lancashire County Council has warned that the county had been allocated £213m in EU regional development and social funds up to 2020, and now faces the possibility of losing this.

But one Chorley businessman says that the vote has opened up bright new opportunities for British manufactuers and exporters.

A 10-page report presented to LCC’s cabinet committee on performance improvement outlined the potential impact on the county of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

It reveals the scale of the county’s reliance on thousands of EU workers and customers and contains warnings that if European businesses move away the council could suffer a loss of much needed business rates.

In his report Kieran Curran, Policy, Information and Commissioning Manager, noted the county was allocated £213m in funding, (£144 per person), from regional development and social funds for projects in the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership Area up to 2020, but told councillors that if Britain leaves the Union before 2020: “some of this may be at risk”.

Lancashire National Insurance registrations 2014/15

Lancashire National Insurance registrations 2014/15

He also highlighted other risks “particularly in adult social care.”

The report estimated that 31,000-59,000 non British EU nationals are currently living in Lancashire, and warns of labour shortages if they were to leave.

County firms export £1,876m of goods and services to the EU each year, 62 per cent of total county exports, outstripping nearest regional competitors Greater Manchester and the Liverpool city region.

Cabinet member County Coun Michael Green said: “I would like to see an update in a few months time. But essentially there are consequences but also huge opportunities. We need to see how it pans out over the months ahead.”