YP Comment: Complacency is not an option

IF YORKSHIRE's economy does, in fact, outperform the UK average in 2016, the forecast of accountancy giant EY, it will be a significant vote of confidence in the diversity and resilience of businesses in this region.

However, future challenges should not be under-estimated – far more growth is still being generated in London and South East and the country is even less the wiser about Brexit following Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s latest ruminations.

It is also important that regional and national politicians guard against complacency after George Osborne, the former chancellor, expressed regret that he could not deliver a devolution agreement for the Leeds City Region.

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Leaving aside the view that Mr Osborne is, in fact, slightly out of touch because of ongoing attempts to reach a countywide settlement that will be the most ambitious in Britain, these figures are a reminder that Yorkshire is bucking the trend in spite of politicians failing to settle their devolution differences, to invest sufficiently in the region’s creaking transport infrastructure and to come up with a credible skills strategy so present and future generations can fulfil their potential and enhance their incomes.

With Yorkshire still on the wrong side of the North-South economic divide, and with the wealth gap between deprived and prosperous communities in this region growing by the day, complacency is not an option as 2017 draws near.