Mark Whitehead 06 October 2017

Whitehall should use Brexit to ‘drive’ devolution, combined authority mayors insist

The Government should listen to all parts of the North as Britain leaves the EU, leaders of the northern combined authorities have demanded.

The North’s three metro-mayors asked Brexit secretary David Davis for greater certainty over funding currently provided by Brussels and for it to be maintained at the current level for the next 10 years.

Mayors Andy Burnham of Greater Manchester, Steve Rotheram of Liverpool City Region and Ben Houchen of Tees Valley asked for the new 'prosperity fund' to be put in local hands when they met Mr Davis in York.

They also raised concerns that the Government could pursue a 'London-centric Brexit'.

Mr Burnham said after the meeting: 'I’ve been saying to all the cabinet as I’ve met them that as politics at a national level becomes more and more mired in this debate they should let positive energy flow into the process of devolution and put some real drive behind their own policy.'

Mr Davis said: 'As we continue to make decisive steps towards our exit, we are committed to bringing all of the UK with us and ensuring that every region is able to flourish.

'The combined authorities play a crucial role in representing the priorities of our regions which is why I’m pleased that we are continuing to build a productive relationship with their mayors since their election in May.

'We will continue working closely with them to understand the potential challenges and opportunities that leaving the EU presents to each of the regions, building on the productive meeting we have held in York today.'

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