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Richard Bell

Northern Metro Mayors convene in York for Brexit dialogue

Metro Mayors from across the North are meeting Brexit Minister David Davis to offer a Northern perspective on Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will join counterparts representing Greater Manchester and Tees Valley today (October 5) in York for the North’s first direct dialogue on the future Brexit deal.

Steve Rotheram said: “As a City Region that narrowly voted Remain in the EU referendum, it is vitally important now that Article 50 has been triggered, that our voice is heard in the Brexit negotiation process and the planning of the UK’s post-Brexit future.

“We cannot afford to have a settlement and arrangements that are predicated simply on economic and policy considerations that reflect the interests of London and the South East.”

He added: “This is a very useful opportunity to help the Minister to better understand the interests of the people and business in the Northern corridor.”

Mr Rotheram will be joined in York by Mayoral Advisor Prof. Janet Beer, who is vice chancellor of Liverpool University and current Chair of Universities UK. Also attending is Mark Basnett, managing director of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

At the meeting with Mr Davis, the Liverpool team will present a set of common concerns and priorities, communicating the City Region’s desire to engage with the Government as it looks to secure the best possible Brexit settlement.

Mr Rotheram continued: “We are a City Region with an outward perspective and global ambitions.

“How the UK moves forward and reconfigures its international relationships is going to be critical to the ongoing success of our higher education institutions, major transnational businesses, exporters, as well as our increasingly important and expanding port operation.”

He added: “Brexit is generating so many practical challenges that will impact on our City Region and other northern regions as well; today’s meeting is a hugely valuable opportunity to present them to the politician with responsibility for getting the UK the best possible deal.”

Prof. Janet Beer commented: “An international outlook is important to the continued success of the Liverpool City Region, the region’s universities and the UK’s higher education sector as a whole.

“There are a number of uncertainties which require early attention and resolution in the Brexit negotiation process in order to both safeguard existing success and to enable us to build on this in the future.”

She continued: “This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss the ability to attract and retain global talent, continued collaboration in research and innovation with our European partners and many other important issues.”

Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP Asif Hamid MBE, who is also portfolio lead for business and Brexit for the Combined Authority, said of the meeting: “The LEP and the Combined Authority are agreed that the impact of Brexit is one of the biggest issues facing the City Region.

“We have already established a high-level taskforce so that the City Region is able draw on relevant local expertise and involve public, private, higher education and third sector stakeholders in developing our understanding on how the implications of Brexit are being felt and what responses the City Region should develop and promote.”

He added: “This evidence will help us inform our discussions with government but will also help promote the business and investment opportunities the City Region has in a post-Brexit scenario.”

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