West Midlands mustn't be sidelined at Brexit talks
Extract from the i newspaper...
The West Midlands should be consulted as much as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during Brexit negotiations, the Labour candidate for the region’s mayoralty has insisted. The call from Siôn Simon, an MEP and former MP, comes as campaigning gears up ahead of the closest-fought contest in May’s local elections.
In an interview with i, Mr Simon accused David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, of failing to guarantee a formal role for the region’s representatives equivalent to those from the UK’s devolved nations. He claimed the government had made protection of London’s financial sector its top priority, while support for manufacturing and exports were far more important to the West Midlands.
“I want our needs to be met and I know that if we don’t have a voice in the negotiations they will not be met, because they never, ever are.” He added: “My wider West Midlands euro-constituency is bigger than Scotland, the wider combined West Midlands authority is bigger than Wales and even the electorate for the mayoral election is bigger than Northern Ireland.”