Labour's candidate for West Midlands Mayor, Siôn Simon, has issued a call for England’s regions to be given a formal seat at the table with government - ahead of Brexit negotiations - to ensure that the English regions get the best deal possible from Brexit.
Mr Simon accused the Prime Minister of showing ‘total disdain’ to people in the English regions. Despite the fact that the West Midlands has a larger population size than any of the devolved nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, government in London is refusing to listen to the concerns of the people of England.
Mr Simon has called on the Prime Minister to give English regions, including the West Midlands, a formal role in discussions with government, before the triggering of Article 50 planned for March 2017.
The government initiated formal proceedings with the devolved administrations in the summer of 2016 and leaders from the devolved assemblies have already held formal talks with government ministers.
Siôn Simon said:
“The government in London has learnt nothing from the Brexit vote. The democratic mandate for Brexit will be fulfilled - but who is going to be the voice for people in the West Midlands? We know we can’t rely on the Tory government in London for that.
“Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all been given a seat at the table. People in the West Midlands want our say.
“I'm saying today: this is England – and we deserve the best deal from Brexit. English regions must not be side-lined. We deserve as good a deal from Brexit as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Give us a seat at the table and let the voice of people in the great English regions be heard”.