Government support for Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee
Commenting on the news today that the government is open to the work of an independent Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee, to explore what Brexit means for the North and ideas to power its economy after Brexit, Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North said:
“It’s very welcome to see support building from all quarters – government and opposition, remain and leave - for our idea for a Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee to explore the North's exit with Brussels and London
“We need a bold and radical vision for what the North’s economy will look like after Brexit.
“The North’s £300bn economy is larger than those of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Ignoring its specific needs – for instance, its thriving advanced manufacturing trading sector - risks not only northern, but national, prosperity.
“IPPR North has been working on the committee since the vote and we’re now in the final stages of putting this together and look forward to working with government and committee members on this.
“The government’s commitment today to a place-based industrial strategy is vitally important. It is crucial this is done at the pan-North scale, bringing together a real plan for ourvmajor cities, ports, renewable energy sector, world-class universities and other key assets.”
Government spokesman Lord Young today said in the House of Lords, during a debate on IPPR North’s State of the North report:
“The government will work to get the best possible debate for all parts of the UK as we leave the EU, engaging businesses up down the country.
“But listening to the debate, I was struck by the number of representations that we heard made on the relative potential disadvantage of the North in accessing decision makers. And that is, without going beyond my brief, certainly a point my colleagues in government will be made aware of, that has been expressed throughout this debate. That is one of the most important lessons I have learnt [today].”
Throughout the debate, Peers of all political parties and none welcomed the idea of such a Committee – to ensure the North’s economy is considered alongside those of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London during negotiations.
IPPR North is currently working with key stakeholders on the membership and terms of reference of the committee.