From: Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate (Con), Co-Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on “One Yorkshire”.
I think it is only right that The Yorkshire Post should claim some credit for the enhanced powers of the Northern Powerhouse Minister and the support of your paper for our One Yorkshire project is most welcome.
But I do think that, bearing in mind the fact that all newly appointed (and promoted) Ministers have had to sign up to a possible “no deal” Brexit scenario, Mr Berry and other ministers with responsibilities in the North, should now be challenged as to how such a situation would be of help to our region?
Plans for a new electrified Leeds-Manchester (that way round please!) railway, and extra fiscal boosts to our industries and service sector are all very well but are they guaranteed to proceed if we are at the same time subjected to a massive economic “shock” following our leaving the EU?
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They really have to answer these questions. Regarding the devolution arrangements, Mr Berry and most of the others involved in Government are not from Yorkshire. So far, the Northern Powerhouse has been influenced most from the Western side of the Pennines as Yorkshire continues to be at a disadvantage in the discussions and Policy making. This new Government must respond to the wider devolution proposals and must not persist with its city-based ideas which are still being pushed by Mr Berry, Lord O’Neill and a few others.
I remain concerned that we are losing out here in Yorkshire, both in the ideas sphere and in the influence on Government. It’s bad enough that we now have a Government hell bent on getting out of the EU at whatever cost, but also one which so far has given no assurances to those of us on the east of the Pennines as to our constitutional or economic future.