Regional Conference 2018: Concerns about Brexit rise
13 March 2018
There was clear opposition from party members to a Tory hard Brexit at the Yorkshire & Humber Labour Party Regional Conference over the weekend. During the session on the regional impacts of Brexit, conference heard from Richard Corbett, my fellow regional MEP and now leader of Labour MEPs, about the 5% GDP hit our regional economy will face if we leave the single market and customs union - the 2008 economic crash took 2% off growth. Melanie Onn, MP for Grimsby, spoke about the impacts on local businesses whose markets are mainly in the EU and Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central and Shadow Brexit Minister, spoke of the dysfunctionality at the heart of the May government where the hardline Brexiteers are dominating decisions. I spoke about how Brexit is paralysing our political system, leaving no space for tackling real political issues such as the housing crisis, underfunding of the NHS and finding solutions for social care. There were plenty of questions from members and we discussed issues such as a second referendum, the state of the divided Tory party in Government, their handling of the negotiations and the leaked regional impact assessments of Brexit for our economy and our region.