The Mayor of Greater Manchester is expected to call for a “common-sense Brexit deal” with a worst-case contingency plan in a major speech in Westminster today.
Andy Burnham (Lab) will recommend MPs back an extension of Article 50 for after the March deadline if a ‘no deal’ outcome becomes likely.
The mayor is expected to say: “Greater Manchester’s interests lie in finding a common-sense Brexit deal with the EU that, as far as possible, provides continuity and does not disrupt the supply chains of firms nor raise prices for our residents and businesses.”
Mr Burnham will also call on MPs to continue “building up from the Chequers agreement”, as he believes the odds on a no-deal outcome - a “disaster for Greater Manchester” - increase every day.
“As soon as it becomes clear that the MPs against a no-deal outcome cannot unite around a plan, I would urge all Greater Manchester MPs to support a call on the EU for an extension of Article 50 beyond the March deadline as the next way of stopping ‘no deal’.
“This isn’t about frustrating Brexit. It is about getting Brexit right.”
Mr Burnham is also set to use his speech to call for further devolution.
“In truth, the referendum result was as much an instruction for Westminster to review its relationship with the rest of England as it was for it to review its relationship with Brussels,” Mr Burnham is expected to say.
“What found its voice in June 2016 was the deeply-held sentiment that our over-centralised political system has neglected some areas in favour of others.
“But that uncomfortable truth has been allowed to be overlooked in all the to-ing and fro-ing over Europe. To leave it unanswered is dangerous.
“If the phrase ‘take back control’ is to mean anything, it must mean substantial devolution of power and resources out of Westminster to all of the English regions.”