Stewart Arnold: they don’t care about Yorkshire
Picture: Robbie MacDonald
European elections would give Yorkshire a chance to have its voice heard, says Stewart Arnold, Leader of the Yorkshire Party.
Because both London and Brussels don’t care about us –they’re both distant, detached and unsympathetic, says Stewart in a detailed explanation of why the Party must be ready to stand in an election for the European Parliament.
“Chaos in Parliament; a Prime Minister with no control over her government; an inept opposition and the main parties split down the middle. Westminster is broken. I can’t remember a time when UK politics has been so uncertain. To add to that uncertainty we have the real likelihood that Article 50 will be extended or even revoked with the possibility that we will have elections to the European Parliament at the end of May.
“My own view is that it’s possible the existing MEPs’ mandates can be extended until an affirmative vote in another EU referendum or a deal is struck within the time. This would avoid the EU election being run as a proxy EU referendum.
“So European Parliament elections are unlikely but given the chaos at Westminster there is an outside chance.
“Many things are unclear, but whatever happens we’ll make sure we’re ready to press the case for Yorkshire and that’s why we have started the process to select candidates from the Yorkshire Party for any European Parliament elections. I want to play my part and lead that group of candidates.
“I wonder what David Cameron thinks as he peers out from his garden shed? Both main parties have seriously lost the plot. Westminster politics is broken and the same sense of grievance people had in the Brexit referendum is now equally applicable to London as it was to Brussels
“Never has the disconnect between people and Westminster politicians been so stark. The London parties are not listening. In those circumstances it is not a surprise that the Yorkshire Party has seen its support increase over the past months. Above all else people see how vital it is that powers are transferred from London to Yorkshire.
“The Brexit negotiations have made something very clear: Yorkshire’s voice is not being heard. Whereas other parts of the UK, such as Scotland, Wales and of course Northern Ireland have a direct line to Downing Street setting out what is best for their communities, Yorkshire has had no such way in to make its point.
“I was talking to representatives of the East Coast fishing industry yesterday (March 13, 2019) and they were dismayed that no Government minister had engaged with them to hear their real and specific concerns. It is nothing short of a scandal.
“The European elections could, if they happen, be a chance to have Yorkshire’s voice heard. They could be an opportunity to strike back at how we have been ignored over the past four years and to counter the disrespect we continue to suffer at the hands of London.
“So if there’s going to be an election we’re ready to do what we always do and to fight for the best interests of Yorkshire and for all the people who have made their homes here.
“In my mind it’s not about ‘in’ or ‘out’ because to me Brussels and London are two sides of the same coin: distant, detached, and unsympathetic. Yorkshire deserves better than this.”
Stewart has already called on Theresa May to ready the UK to take part in May’s elections for the European Parliament.
The Yorkshire Party has already begun the process of selecting its candidates for the elections, should they go ahead.