A new analysis shows that any gains made by the government’s Northern Powerhouse project would be wiped out by the kind of No Deal Brexit that Boris Johnson says he is ready to inflict on the British people.
It comes as sporting legends join leading Yorkshire politicians on Saturday in Leeds where they will address a capacity crowd of more than 1,000 to launch the People’s Vote North campaign and declare our region’s real voice must be heard in the Brexit debate.
The Government recently claimed its Northern Powerhouse project had produced growth worth £10 billion for the region’s economy since 2014, with ministers claiming that “we are on the cusp of a new era for the north”.
But a new analysis from People’s Vote North shows that these gains would be wiped out by No Deal:
- The North’s economy would contract by up to £39.6 billion, nearly four times the size of economic gains made over the last five years and a hit worth nearly £2,900 per person.
- The Government would have to replace funding for its £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, nearly half of which comes from the EU and European Investment Bank.
- Plans to replace EU funding with a new government-run Shared Prosperity Fund could leave the north with £624 million less to invest across the region.
Campaigners have also compiled a dossier of practical benefits that would be at risk from No Deal:
- 578 investment projects from other EU countries creating or protecting over 39,000 jobs.
- Arrest warrants used to remove 1,075 criminals and bring 172 to justice since 2010.
- 346,000 people in the North employed in tourism as their main or second job.
- £300 million for research and universities that boost jobs and business.
- 6,120 local students who were given the opportunity to study abroad for a year.
- Eight protected foods including Yorkshire Wensleydale and Cumbrian Sausage.
The analysis includes an estimate of the impact on people in towns and cities across the north, with local people in Trafford worst hit by a potential No Deal with the loss of £934 each.
Phil Wilson, the MP for Sedgefield, and a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“On June 23rd 2014 the Northern Powerhouse was launched to try and make the region a ‘powerhouse for our economy again.’ Now we have a government increasingly moving towards a destructive No Deal Brexit that would wipe out any progress made.
“We know the North will be hit first and worst through a destructive No Deal Brexit but this analysis is still shocking. The real tragedy is in stories of communities affected: people will be made poorer, lives will be made shorter, opportunities will get pushed further away.”
“It is a democratic outrage that the direction of Brexit, which will affect all of us, is going to be set by a Prime Minister elected by the less than 0.25% of our population who are Conservative Party members, and who are not representative of the North. That’s why Brexit must be given back to the people for a final say.”