People in Barnsley have voted overwhelmingly to pursue a wider Yorkshire devolution deal with 84.9% of votes cast in favour of this option.
This decisive result on a significant turnout shows how people locally have engaged with the devolution debate and decided that a more ambitious deal for the whole of Yorkshire is the best way forward for our region.
On the 20 December, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, wrote to the leader of Barnsley Council offering a new way forward in the devolution negotiations. I welcome this move as a signal by the Government that they are prepared to compromise, and that they acknowledge that the Sheffield City Region deal is the first step towards a wider Yorkshire deal. The precise detail of any agreement will need to be carefully considered, but the Government’s suggested text provides a basis for discussion and subsequent negotiation.
It is in the best interests of the people of Yorkshire, that we work together to forge a new political consensus that unlocks the huge potential that exists in our region. I believe a wider Yorkshire deal is the best way of getting ready for life after Brexit, as it is only this option that will give us the collective clout to not only compete and co-operate with other parts of the UK, but with the wider world too.