Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has countered George Osborne’s assertion that a vote to leave the EU on Thursday would damage the Northern Powerhouse.
“Over the past decade the north has continually grown its share of UK exports in key industries such as advanced manufacturing, energy, culture and tourism. Annual foreign direct investment in the north has grown 127 percent in the last two years. There is absolutely no reason to suggest that this cannot continue outside of the European Union.
“Northern businesses will continue to trade with foreign companies if we Vote Leave on the 23rd June.
“What is more, 95 percent of businesses in the region do not export, but only operate within the UK. Yet all these companies have to work within the straight-jacket framework of the EU. This red tape constrains northern businesses and does not give them the freedom to invest how they want to.
“The north west currently sends £1.5bn a year to the EU. That is thirteen times the budget required to fix the roads across the region. Getting this money back would allow improvements in infrastructure and other vital areas.
“We have seen time and time again, in places such as London, that public investment is the catalyst for private investment. Freeing up the money the north sends to the EU, by voting to leave, would allow the Northern Powerhouse to thrive like never before.”