Glasgow City Council calls for action to ‘mitigate Brexit’

Glasgow City Council has called for specific government action to mitigate the effects of Brexit, to avoid the greater Glasgow area coming to harm from any consequences of leaving the EU.

A report by the Council has set out challenges the area could face, highlighting that ‘specific policy decisions’ are needed from both the UK and Scottish government to show it they intent to support the city region.

Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety, commented: "I believe that Brexit will confront Glasgow with major economic challenges. I also believe these can be overcome if special action is taken by the Scottish and UK governments.

"If that happens then the problems associated with Brexit can become an opportunity for economic growth and not a threat of crisis."

Brexit and the Glasgow Economy: Impacts, Actions and Asks was produced by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow Economic Leadership board. Data was compiled with the help of more than 100 senior business, local government and academic leaders.

The report makes six recommendations to the Scottish and UK governments, these include: to match EU structural and investment funds, currently worth £780m to Scotland between 2014 and 2020; to accelerate Glasgow City Deal projects, such as the Glasgow Airport Rail link; transfer surplus government land holdings to Glasgow City Council to allow accelerated house-building programmes; more effective collaborations on economic development to support higher levels of innovation and growth; a commitment to fund Scotland's share of the EU's £80 billion Horizon 2020 programme beyond and to clarify the immigration status of EU students; and a two-year moratorium on non-domestic rates from the Scottish government for new build Grade A properties that are not fully let.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, chair of the Glasgow Economic Leadership board and Principal of Strathclyde University, said: "There is no doubt that Brexit is a fundamental system shock and one that poses challenges to us all.

"We will now position our city to meet the challenges of Brexit and exploit longer-term opportunities to grow our economy.

"Only by working together can we boost our economic fundamentals: our skills, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is on these foundations that our future will and must be based."