Scotland vote creating ‘profound changes’ in North East

Businessman Jon Gamble from go2eventhire as he asks the question YES or NO with illuminated signs near Dunblane, Scotland, ahead of voting in the Scottish Referendum

Businessman Jon Gamble from go2eventhire as he asks the question YES or NO with illuminated signs near Dunblane, Scotland, ahead of voting in the Scottish Referendum

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MPs will be keeping a close eye on the outcome of the Scottish referendum to see what impact the vote could have on the North-East.

With the Scottish Parliament set to be handed far more powers even in the event of a No vote on Thursday, political change north of the border could have a significant knock-on effect in the region regardless of the result.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

And as millions of Scots are deciding whether or not to break the ties that have bound Scotland and England for more than 300 years, local MPs Iain Wright and Grahame Morris have both aired their views ahead of the result.

Hartlepool MP Mr Wright says he hopes Scotland registers a No vote - but admits the idea of them gaining independence is something which the North-East would do well to consider.

Mr Wright said: “I hope Scotland votes no and stays with us in the United Kingdom. We all benefit if that remains the case.

“But I also think we in the North-East need to consider how we can shape our own future and make more and more decisions in the region, rather than in London.

Easington MP Grahame Morris.

Easington MP Grahame Morris.

“But whatever the result the whole campaign has had, and will continue to have, profound changes for the rest of the United Kingdom.

“How we in the North-East have more control over our destiny will be something that will be returned to.

“The region had an opportunity a decade ago to have an independent assembly, and that was decisively rejected by voters, but I do think that Whitehall doesn’t understand the challenges and opportunities that the North-East has.

“A government that looks instinctively at the south does not consider the needs of the north and we have seen this with the huge damage to our town and region over the past few years.”

Meanwhile Mr Morris, MP for Easington, added: “The arguments have been well rehearsed – from the uncertainty of independence, and the stability offered by the union, to the economic and democratic freedom offered by independence.

“As a supporter of the union, and the Better Together Campaign, I hope Scotland will vote to retain the United Kingdom. However, I have no doubt that an independent Scotland would be a successful and prosperous nation.

“The referendum will have a profound impact on the UK, no matter what the result, we know more powers will be transferred from Westminster to Holyrood.

“This will leave the North-East in a precarious position, wedged between a Scotland, with the economic and tax freedom to gain a competitive advantage to attract investment and drive growth, and a Conservative Government, in Westminster, that fails to look beyond their heartlands in the south.

“We must make the case now that the North-East must also feature in any negotiations that will take place over the coming months, whether over devolution or independence, otherwise there is a risk that our economy could be 
undermined.”