Edition 1: The Impact of Brexit on Local Government

Our new Leadership Index reveals the pessimism for the impact of Brexit on local economies

Our survey of all council Leaders and Chief Executives, published in the Guardian on 3 March, found exceptionally strong pessimism about the impact of Brexit.

We found that 61% of Leaders and Chief Executives believed Brexit would have a negative or very negative impact on their local economy, and only 12% believed it would have a positive impact or very positive impact.

Weaker local economies would lead to a lower ability to raise revenue through business rates – something which will be crucial with continued uncertainty of local government finance.

The survey also highlighted differences of opinion between the various regions of the UK. Chief Executives and Leaders in the South East were the least pessimistic about UK withdrawal with 48% believing Brexit would have a negative or very negative impact on their local economy. The North East proved the most pessimistic with 100% of council chiefs expecting a very negative or negative outcome. Interestingly, 93% of London Chief Executives and Leaders foresaw a negative impact – this is notable given that most economic forecasts expect the capital to meet the economic challenges of Brexit better than other parts of the country.

The full results of the survey can be downloaded HERE.

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