Update report on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s planning and preparedness for exiting the European Union
In 2018, the SFRS started its formal planning and preparation for an exit of the EU. Much of its early work was paused in 2019, as it waited for clarity from the UK Government on the details, risk and opportunities that may emerge during the transition arrangements.
This work was then overshadowed in 2020 by the global pandemic Covid-19 (C-19). Whilst some work has continued on exiting the EU, it is not surprising the focus of the SFRS and other Local Authority partners has been directed at managing within the C-19 pandemic.
The original governance arrangements that were established to manage exiting the EU, have been replaced by the Covid-19 Tactical Action Group (COTAG). COTAG was initially established to manage C-19, however it was soon recognised that the concurrent nature of events being planned for by the SFRS would lead to a significant duplication of work for staff. The terms of reference for COTAG were extended and cover ‘exiting the EU’ as a sub group.
A Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) at an Executive level has been appointed by the SFRS to oversee the development and delivery of a high level EU exit plan which is informed by the overarching UK Government and Scottish Government Planning Assumptions. The primary focus of the high level plan is to ensure the SFRS is able to maintain operational service delivery and meet its statutory duties.
The information and evidence provided has been gathered from meetings with senior management from the SFRS, regional resilience partners and representative bodies.