YP Letters: More power to One Yorkshire to deal with Brexit disruption

Brexit strengthens the case for Yorkshire devolution, says Lord Wallace. Do you agree?
Brexit strengthens the case for Yorkshire devolution, says Lord Wallace. Do you agree?
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From: Lord Wallace of Saltaire, Lib Dem peer, House of Lords.

IN the final hours before Parliament leaves Westminster for the summer break, the Government published a White Paper, Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

It promises that “after the UK has left the EU, power will sit closer to the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than ever before. The devolved institutions will see significant increase in their decision-making powers a result of the UK’s exit”. It says nothing about the impact of Brexit on our regions, nor how their interests will be represented in discussions in government on how to replace lost EU regional funding, or to promote and protect regional economic interests.

Devolution for Yorkshire is stuck: a low priority for a government largely composed of politicians from London and the home counties. It is increasingly clear that the preference of most people in Yorkshire is for a One Yorkshire framework, rather than the City government model that the Conservatives have offered. Ministers, shuffling rapidly from one job to another and preoccupied with the confusion over how to manage Brexit, have failed to engage with Yorkshire’s leaders to negotiate our preferred model. We need all elected representatives from this county, including Yorkshire Conservatives, to tell the Government that this is not good enough, and that we also need a significant increase in our region’s decision-making powers to cope with the disruption that Brexit will cause.

From: Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party, Kirklees Council

YOUR report “Record numbers of workers willing to find jobs abroad, study finds” provides an important lesson for our current debate about Brexit (The Yorkshire Post, July 25).

A majority of British workers – 62 per cent – would move abroad for work.

Free movement does, in fact, work both ways, despite what some critics have said. It is a huge benefit Britons have enjoyed for decades. From the British builders going to Germany in the 1970s, to the apprentice now in Rome on an Erasmus scholarship, many millions of Britons have availed themselves of that opportunity since we joined the EU.

The Green Party has been, and will continue, to campaign to maintain free movement. Our children shouldn’t have fewer opportunities and freedoms than their parents enjoyed.