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UK Economics

Strength of North to return: Brexit WILL ‘free UK industry from EU’s deadweight shackles’

LEAVING the European Union will spark an economic boom in the North of England by freeing companies from the “deadweight shackle” of Brussels bureaucracy, a think tank boss has predicted.

The launch of the Northern Powerhouse projectGETTY             A leading think tank boss has said Brexit provides great opportunities for the north


Stephen Purvis, chairman of independent Policy North, said the region had suffered as a result of becoming “umbilically dependent” on innefective centralised EU funding.He said cash from Brussels – which is really just a proportion of British taxpayers’ receipts being handed back across the Channel – had stifled economic enterprise and left the North in the doldrums.

The think tank chief was also scathing of UK ministers and especially former chancellor George Osborne, whose Northern Powerhouse initiative he dismissed as a failure that amounted to “little more than a slogan on a hoody”.
Writing for the Brexit Central website, he said: “Free trade must be the focus of Brexit in the North. It will power the economic furnace that will facilitate investment in infrastructure, health, social justice and skills.
“Leaving the customs union as part of Brexit and being free to invest in free trade zones such as free ports, and enter into enterprise-led free trade agreements with the world will set the North on a trajectory to fiscal growth, overshadowing anything the Northern Powerhouse had to offer.”He dismissed claims by Remainers that England’s poorer regions will suffer from losing Brussels funding, saying it had “resolutely failed to achieve arms-length sustainable businesses” and resulted in “little progress”.

Britain is also a net contributor to the project, meaning that in simplistic cash terms the Government could afford to replace all subsidies and investment programmes out of future savings on our membership bill.

Free trade must be the focus of Brexit in the North

Stephen Purvis

Mr Purvis also slammed the closure of Regional Development Agencies, set up by Tony Blair but then scrapped by David Cameron, saying the move was a “mistake” and had increased reliance on “soft EU funding and projects”.The bodies were dedicated to boosting economic development in England’s nine main regions, but were binned when the Coalition government introduced austerity measures after winning power.

The think-tank chief said: “We have a unique opportunity, in the management of Brexit and focusing on free trade, to remedy this. Brexit is happening and an effective and robustly negotiated Brexit offers three key areas of opportunity for the North of England.”

Mr Purvis listed the first of these advantages as losing the “deadweight shackle” of EU state aid regulations, which limit the extent to which central Governments can support domestic industry.

The second, he said, was the opportunity to “shine a spotlight” once more on truly free global trade and boost the links Northern businesses have with businesses around the world.He argued: “The North East of England is the only region of the UK with a positive balance of trade, and sets the foundation for mass benefit from increased free trade on a global basis.”

Finally, Mr Purvis argued that a “swift implementation of the democratic will of the British people will offer the stability and directional confidence that both capital markets and private sector investors are looking for”.

He concluded: “Brexit is the power lever for Global North to succeed and a swift and orderly departure from the EU, the single market and the customs union represents the trinity of prerequisites to begin this new chapter.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/823065/Brexit-news-leaving-EU-economic-boom-North-think-tank-boss

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