Northern England: Opportunity and Productivity - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:45 pm on 12th January 2017.

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Photo of Lord Beith Lord Beith Liberal Democrat 12:45 pm, 12th January 2017

I apologise to the noble Lord, but he is depriving me of the opportunity to make a very important point, with which I want to conclude.

The process of dealing with Brexit requires communication between the Government and the north-east of England. In November, I read in the Evening Standard that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, had agreed with the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, that he would have a monthly face-to-face meeting both before and after the triggering of Article 50, so that the position of London could be understood at every stage of the negotiation. As far as I know, there is no such arrangement for the north-east of England. The IPPR report suggests a resilience committee to deal with that and open up that communication. In some way or other, the Government have to listen to the north-east’s special concerns and set up a mechanism to ensure that it is listened to throughout this process.