I have always supported the principle of devolving power as closely to the people as possible, and never has the case for that devolution to a North West Assembly been more necessary nor more starkly illustrated than now.
There are just over 7 million people in the North West, that is nearly 11% of the population of the United Kingdom, and yet we do not have a single minister sitting in the Cabinet of the Government of our Country. Without a North West Assembly to make the case for this region our voice is now silenced in the corridors of power.
Of the 23 MP’s in the Cabinet, 13 are from the South, Six from the Midlands, 1 from Wales, 1 from Scotland and 1 from Yorkshire. There is one MP representing the whole of the North of England at the Cabinet Tabe despite the north comprising over 23% of the population of the UK. The North West (comprising 11% is unrepresented).
As the second most populous region in England, and bigger than Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland; it is time that the North West had its own assembly empowered to legislate on and run those matters that are important to the people of this Region.
There is of course Devo-Manc and Liverpool City Region, but this is a devolution of responsibiity for spending what the Federal Goverment of the UK permits, in accordance with the legislation that that Federal Government lays down. We have no say in what we do, only in how we do it, and that is wrong.
It is time for the Liberal Democrats to champion the cause of a Devolved North West in a Federal United Kingdom, if we do not then before long we will find ourself fighting to keep up on an issue that is central to the creation of a Liberal Democracy.