Brexit news – latest: Tory MPs call for billions to fund ‘left-behind’ towns as Britons refused entry to Spain


Arlene Foster on the Irish sea border

Conservative MPs in the north of England have urged Rishi Sunak to set aside billions to fuel the region’s economy amid fears the pandemic will widen the gap between London and “left-behind” areas.

Jake Berry, chair of the Northern Research Group of more than 50 Tory MPs, said “we expect this government to invest in and back our economy so we can recover”, and did not rule out his group pushing their influence in the Commons if progress is not made on Boris Johnson’s promise to “level up” the regions.

Meanwhile, UK residents of Spain seeking to return to their homes were wrongly turned away by British Airways staff at Heathrow  as they prepared to fly home. Britons attempting to reach the Netherlands have also been turned away since the Brexit transition phase ended.

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Northern Tories call for billions in “levelling up” funding

Conservative MPs in the north of England have urged Rishi Sunak to set aside billions to fuel the region’s economy amid fears the gulf between London and “left-behind” areas will grow in the wake of Covid-19.

Jake Berry, chair of the Northern Research Group of more than 50 Tory MPs, said “we expect this government to invest in and back our economy so we can recover.

Mr Berry acknowledged the UK is in a “very tricky financial position” but argued the best way to work out of the debt incurred during the pandemic would be to grow the economy, “so let’s get the north of England growing and firing on all cylinders”, he told The Telegraph.

“It will change the lives of people who live there, but would also make the job of running the Treasury and national debt a hell of a lot better,” the Lancashire MP said.

Mr Berry did not rule out the NRG working to become an influential voting bloc in the Commons if insufficient progress is made on Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” promise.

Jake Berry formerly served as Boris Johnson’s minister for the Northern Powerhouse

Jake Berry formerly served as Boris Johnson’s minister for the Northern Powerhouse

(PA)

Liam James4 January 2021 08:24

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Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of UK politics today

Liam James4 January 2021 08:08



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