North East Labour politicians have criticised the Tory government’s shoddy deal with the DUP which will see £1bn worth of funding going to Northern Ireland.
In the past week, MPs from our region have voiced concerns that the deal comes at the expense of underfunded English regions such as the North East.
Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, told the House of Commons that seven years of austerity have left North East working families £1,000 worse off on average per year, yet the Tory government refused to invest in the region only to now find “£1bn to bung at the DUP”. This echoed comments made by Blyth Valley Labour MP Ronnie Campbell who asked whether the North East, one of the country’s poorest regions, will “get nowt”.
Labour MEPs for the North East also condemned the deal, as it puts our regional economy at risk. In the current uncertain climate of exiting the European Union, our region could easily end up on the losing side of negotiations if it doesn’t become a priority for the Tory government. This is why Jude and Paul decided on 5 key North East Red Lines, one of them being that not a single penny should be lost after Brexit.
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP commented: “Finding extra funding for this coalition of chaos seemed like a walk in the park for Theresa May. We want to see this type of commitment to our region, not just a paper-thin guarantee. As MEPs, we don’t want the North East to be left behind after the UK leaves the European Union, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that it is being left behind by our own government.”
Paul Brannen MEP added: “Theresa May has made the magic money tree a reality this week, so we urge that if she has any other tricks up her sleeve, she uses them to fund the North East. No one doubts that the £1bn extra funding is much needed in Northern Ireland, but the fact that it was made available so quickly and easily goes to show that there is no need for more austerity.”