Monday, August 02, 2004

How clear?

Call for clarity in assembly debate
Newcastle Journal Lettrs 2nd August

On July 29, correspondent Andrew Shorey said, "the proposed assembly will have significant powers to improve the NE region, and argue our case to central government".

Please can Andrew enlarge on the following points for me:
I understood that our MPs represents us in central government, and ergo argue the region’s case in parliament.
So does he mean Central Brussels in the European Union of the Regions?

I also understand that the Government Office for the Region, which includes the DTI, is the body, which decides what can go ahead in the region with reference to EU rules, and regulations, which stop or stifle competition with Europe. Rules, incidentally, which put England at a distinct disadvantage.
So why should we need a Regional Assembly to speak for us in Brussels or Westminster when they are already on the doorstep and in action?

I understand that the ‘Yes’ campaigners would have us believe that Regional Assemblies are "nothing to do with the EU, and will be a voice for the region", a voice for whom…the people or international business?

Can Andrew explain to me how they are nothing to do with Brussels, when they have offices in Brussels, are monitored by the Committee for the Regions in Brussels, will be run by the same body post-EU Constitution, and will be one of the "three pillars of regional government" required by the EU to bypass rule from Westminster.

This last may provide an answer to the other two points made above.
Jane Birkby

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