Labour MPs call for multi-billion pound fund to help areas left behind by globalisation

A group of Labour MPs from Leave-voting areas has called for a new multi-billion pound fund to help communities left behind by globalisation.

The “Globalisation Fund” would be used to help fund public services, training and infrastructure in some of the UK’s most deprived areas.

It would likely replace the government’s existing Controlling Migration Fund which serves a similar purpose but amounts to just £35m a year.

EU migrants contribute £4.7bn more in taxes than they receive in welfare payments and public services each year, according to government analysis.

The proposal for a Globalisation Fund would see this money diverted into a pot to be used for investing in poorer areas.

It is being proposed by Labour MPs Anna Turley, Angela Smith, Mary Creagh, Phil Wilson and Bridget Phillipson, who all represent Leave-supporting constituencies but back calls for a People’s Vote. 

The idea will be discussed at a series of rallies in Brexit-backing areas on Saturday.

130 events will be held across the country as part of the group’s latest Day of Action, with thousands of people set to take part.

The People’s Vote campaign said the proposal showed that its supporters were responding to the concerns that led people to vote to leave the EU.

Calls for a fresh referendum must be one part of a wider campaign to address the causes of Brexit, it said. 

Ms Turley, MP for Redcar, said: “Leaving the European Union does not fix the problems that led to Brexit. This is the sort of radical thinking this country needs to genuinely reconnect with the communities left behind by years of globalisation.

“Migration benefits our economy, but £4.7bn we receive every year from European migrants flows straight into government’s coffers in Westminster and austerity means communities like Redcar don’t see a penny. We should spend this money where it’s really needed – outside of London and the South East – in communities that have not felt the benefits of an increasingly global economy.”

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stockbridge, added: “Brexit will do absolutely nothing to tackle the very real challenges faced by people in this country who have been badly affected by globalisation.

“We need a People’s Vote to sort out the Brexit mess, but just as important is new thinking about how to tackle the biggest challenges faced by our communities. “

“A Globalisation Fund, spending the dividend from European migration in the places it’s really needed, is one idea that would have a massive impact in parts of the country that have been hit by the decline of traditional industries and strangled by a decade of austerity.”

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It comes as MPs prepare to vote on whether or not to accept Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The Commons is widely expected to reject the proposal, prompting fresh calls for the public to be given a Final Say vote to break the deadlock in Parliament. 

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

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