Next government ‘must do more to assess Brexit impact on public services’

Commission calls on civil service to scrutinise EU regulations relating to public services to plan reforms ahead of exit


By Richard Johnstone

17 May 2017

The next government should create a dedicated cabinet sub-committee to ensure the implications for public services from the UK’s European Union exit deal are being considered as the agreement is negotiated.

The Brexit Advisory Commission on Public Services said a dedicated sub-committee, to be chaired by Brexit secretary David Davis, would ensure the impact of any deal on public services was fully appreciated by negotiators, and would prepare the sector for possible outcomes.


The commission, which has been formed by the public accountancy body CIPFA and is chaired by former Liberal Democrat MP and Treasury special advisor Julia Goldsworthy, also called on the next government to commit to quantifying the impact of Brexit on the services.

Ministers should, for example, keep the impact of the fall in the value of the pound, or change in migration flows, under review during the two-year exit process and pledge to take short-term measures if there are signs of stress on services.

The commission, whose members also include Julian McCrae, the deputy director of the Institute for Government, Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and Vicky Pryce, the former joint head of the Government Economic Service, also called for government to “seize the opportunity for public service reform”.

In particular, the incoming administration should commit to scrutinising EU regulations relating to public services and adapt them to become more effective. As powers are being returned to the UK from Brussels, there should be “double devolution” to devolved nations and regions and to promote more inclusive economic growth.

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