Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to guarantee that York will still receive millions in EU funding and that the positive contribution EU citizens living in the city make is recognised.
The Lib Dems will move a motion at next week’s Full Council saying the Government should ensure that York and Yorkshire receives investment at least equal to that planned to be provided by EU programmes. Between now and 2020, the region will directly receive £661m from European programmes to support small businesses, help residents find work, and support farmers and rural communities.
The motion says that in future negotiations, the UK’s vital trading relationship with the EU should be protected and the Government should put in place a support package to help local businesses deal with the short-term economic shock and the transition to the UK’s new relationship with the EU. The Lib Dems are also calling for the rights of the 5,000 plus EU citizens currently working and living in the city to be protected.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council who will move the motion, commented:
“It is clear that following the referendum there are many unanswered questions of crucial importance to local residents and businesses. With the idea of leaving the EU to ‘take back control’ so ill-defined, it is vital that elected members at all levels in our city make clear their demands for a negotiating position that promotes and protects the interests of York.
“Key issues for us in York include the £661m Yorkshire receives directly from EU programmes as well as the individual funding given to support our universities and other projects in education, science and the environment. On top of this, are the crucial trade links which many local businesses rely on and the status of the EU nationals who have made York their home.
“York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust alone employs more than 250 staff from EU member countries; as it has looked to Europe to address staffing and skills shortages in recent years. The contribution these and other EU nationals make to our city should be recognised by Theresa May and their rights must be protected going forward.”
Cllr Aspden will move the following motion at next Thursday’s Full Council (6:30pm in York’s Guildhall)
York and the impact of Brexit
- The result of the EU referendum
- That 58% of those who voted in York voted for the UK to remain a member of the EU
- That York is a tolerant and inclusive city where the contribution of all citizens (including nationals of other EU countries living here) is recognised and appreciated
- York residents have benefited from the training, education and employment opportunities offered by EU membership
- Yorkshire is one of the biggest beneficiaries of EU regional funding, which will include before 2020:
– £345m to support small businesses and create jobs (European Regional Development Fund)
– £286m to get unemployed people back into work (European Social Fund)
– £19.7m to support farmers and rural communities (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development)
- Many questions vital to the local interest now need answering, including the likely impact on York’s economy, the future of EU funding programmes that benefit York, and the future of the EU citizens who have made York their home
- With the Brexit proposition of ‘taking control’ so ill-defined, it is vital that elected members at all levels and other interested parties make clear their demands for a Brexit negotiating position that promotes and protects the interests of the people they represent.
Council resolves to write to the Government saying that:
- The Government should ensure that York and Yorkshire receives investment at least equal to that planned to be provided by EU programmes
- In future negotiations, the UK’s vital trading relationship with the EU should be protected as far as possible alongside environmental standards and legislation supporting workers’ rights
- The Government should work with regional LEPs and other partners to put in place a support package to help businesses deal with the short-term economic shock and the transition to the UK’s new relationship with the EU
- The Government should re-affirm its commitment to funding key projects in the region including York Central, HS2 and Transpennine electrification
The rights of EU citizens currently working and living in the city should be protected.