David Davis: I’ll make Brexit work for Yorkshire

David Davis is the Brexit Secretary.
David Davis is the Brexit Secretary.
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I WAS born in York and have represented a Yorkshire constituency for 30 years, so I understand how important it is for people here that Brexit is a great success.

From the upland farmers of the Moors and Dales to business owners in bustling cities like Leeds and Sheffield, everyone in Yorkshire has a stake in Britain’s exit from the European Union.

And that is why I will ensure that Yorkshire’s voice is heard as we work towards a Brexit deal that enables every part of the UK to build on what it has achieved and embrace the new opportunities that we know will arise.

Theresa May signalled her Government’s commitment to this approach when she visited Yorkshire last month, telling this newspaper that “we need to make sure that we get this right” for farmers across the region.

We have set out a clear and detailed plan for Brexit – one which will restore control over our money, laws and borders and mean that policies are set in the UK not in Brussels.

We want a deep and special partnership with the EU, but one which is to the mutual benefit of all involved. One that allows us to forge new links with the rest of the world.

This underpins everything that we do. A good Brexit deal for Britain will mean a strong UK economy, which means a strong Yorkshire economy.

And under the leadership of the Conservatives, Yorkshire’s economy is going from strength to strength. Thanks to our changes to the personal allowance, over 2.2 million people in Yorkshire have had an income tax cut since 2010 and 338,000 people have been taken out of income tax altogether.

A typical basic rate taxpayer now pays over £1,000 less in income tax than when the Conservatives came into government in 2010.

And our National Living Wage, which we have confirmed will continue to rise until 2022, means over £1,400 extra a year for ordinary Yorkshire workers.

Across Yorkshire, there are 195,000 more people in work since 2010 and the number of unemployed people is down by 45 per cent.

All this shows exactly why Theresa May’s Conservatives are now the true party of workers – in Yorkshire and across the whole of the UK.

But Yorkshire’s incredible success story risks being destroyed if Jeremy Corbyn gets anywhere near Downing Street after the General Election.

A Corbyn-led Labour in charge of the country means higher taxes for ordinary people and the small businesses that are the backbone of so many Yorkshire communities.

Corbyn’s manifesto, which he published on Tuesday, contained a £58bn black hole in its spending plans. His numbers simply don’t add up and for the people of Yorkshire, a Labour government would mean living standards falling as his bombshell of tax rises cripples the economy.

While Corbyn spends his time talking about how he can raise taxes for ordinary families across Yorkshire, Theresa May and the Conservatives want to talk about our positive vision for the region.

That positive vision means getting a Brexit deal that benefits every business in Yorkshire.

We have always made clear that we will use the UK’s departure from the EU to strengthen and enhance workers’ rights.

And this week Theresa May’s manifesto, launched in Halifax, announced the greatest extension of rights and protections for employees by any Conservative government in history.

There will be new rights for workers to take leave to care for a family member and there will be a new statutory right which we will allow bereaved parents to have time off 

These measures will guarantee some peace of mind to grieving parents or people doing their best to look after sick family members.

We will also to legislate for a new right to request leave for training purposes, to help workers gain the skills they need to retain good, well-paid jobs.

These plans will ensure that as we leave the EU, every employee sees their working life improve.

As well as benefiting businesses across Yorkshire, the Conservatives will also ensure that the county’s farmers get the best possible deal from Brussels.

We will create a better system of support for agriculture and make sure that trade between the UK and the EU remains as free and frictionless as possible after Brexit.

So it is clear that the stakes at this election could not be higher for people in Yorkshire.

There is a very real possibility that come June 9, Jeremy Corbyn and a coalition of chaos propped up by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP could be given the keys to Downing Street. That would mean the worst possible Brexit deal for Yorkshire and the UK as a whole.

Corbyn has already said he will accept any deal handed down by the European Union – no matter how punitive; no matter how costly.

Common sense tells us that’s the worst possible approach to take. When buying a house or a car, would you state upfront that you are willing to agree to whatever the seller demanded? Of course not.

Since the EU referendum last summer Corbyn has struggled to take even the most basic decisions on Brexit – for example, whether to end uncontrolled immigration from the EU or not. Theresa May is clear, we will bring immigration under control and back to sustainable levels.

Corbyn’s approach in the Brexit negotiations would be one of chaotic incoherence and it would mean that the other 27 EU countries would make mincemeat of him. Voters in Yorkshire cannot take the risk of Jeremy Corbyn negotiating their future.

If you want strong, stable leadership through Brexit and beyond then you have to vote for Theresa May and her local Conservative candidate on June 8.

For a strong economy in Yorkshire, for a good Brexit deal for farmers and for continued investment in the county’s schools, roads and rail there can only be one choice at the General Election.

David Davis is the Brexit Secretary. He is seeking re-election in Haltemprice and Howden.