As the old saying goes: ‘a week is a long time in politics’ – something that has never felt more true since the vote in parliament on whether to accept the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement on January 15.
That vote resulted in the biggest defeat for any government in the history of our Parliament. MPs from all sides – those representing constituencies that voted heavily to Remain; and those, like myself, representing seats that voted heavily to Leave – demonstrated that they did not think that the deal worked in the best interests of the country.Read more
Following the decisive community poll results in Barnsley and Doncaster, I believe we are close to securing a devolution agreement which could act as a stepping stone to a wider Yorkshire settlement.
This week the leaders of Barnsley and Doncaster wrote to the Communities Secretary proposing a deal which would see powers and funding flow to the Sheffield City Region starting this year. At the same time, those council leaders supporting a wider Yorkshire deal would be able to continue their negotiations with the aim of securing a deal by 2020. I led a debate in Parliament arguing the case for this compromise.Read more
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.Read more
Despite the best efforts of council leaders in South Yorkshire, we now know that the Sheffield City Region deal is not going to happen. This does not mean we should give up on devolving power to our region altogether. Instead, we should seize this opportunity to be more ambitious.Read more