Northern Councils to play a
leading role in Brexit Negotiations
FOLLOWING the decision that Britain
will leave the European Union, Leaders across the Liverpool City Region are
working together to identify what impact this will have for the City Region and
have also broadened this partnership by working across the North of the country.
The needs of the Liverpool City Region and Northern region as a whole must be
taken into account when negotiating Brexit, and this can be done best by having
people from the City Region directly involved.
Mayor Joe Anderson, alongside the Chairs of the Combined Authorities for Greater
Manchester, North East, Sheffield City Region and West Yorkshire, recently wrote
to the Prime Minister to point out that the 5 Northern Combined Authorities
have a stronger economy than Scotland and a population greater than London,
which shoes exactly why the North of England needs to be involved in the Brexit
Councillor Phil Davies, Portfolio Lead for Economic Development for the
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said:- "I was interested to hear
Greg Clark's speech at the recent Local Government Association conference, in
which he confirmed that local government would be involved in the Brexit
negotiations. The question is how? As a City Region, we have joined forces with
the other Combined Authority leaders in the North of England to call for a seat
at the Brexit negotiating table."
There is a lot at stake for the City Region, which was due to benefit from a
commitment of over £200m of European Union funding over the next few years. In
addition, many organisations would have been bidding for other European
programmes such as those for connectivity and innovation. When combined with
other sources, the impact is that over £400m of investment is potentially at
risk; along with job opportunities (estimated to be 2,100 jobs) and economic
growth in the area which the funding would have helped to create 2,100 new
business start ups and assisted over 6,700 businesses.
Cllr Davies added:- "It's quite clear that these negotiations will now be
about returning powers from the European Union to this country. There's no
reason at all why those powers should simply return to national Government; we
believe that they should be returned directly to local decision makers and the
Combined Authority is now placed ideally to take those powers on. This will be a
priority for us as part of the negotiations."