Yorkshire Petition

Leeds Town Hall

A petition has been started on the UK Government and Parliament Petitions website to “Allow a referendum on devolving power to a Yorkshire Regional Parliament”. The petition was created by Bob Buxton, leader of the Yorkshire Party, and it runs until 8 July 2021. As at 27 Feb it had collected 1,205 signatures. This is somewhat short of the 10,000 signatures required for the government to respond to the petition and even further still from the 100,000 signatures for the petition to be considered for a debate in parliament. Having said this, we understand that promotion of the petition is only now gearing up.

The idea of running a petition for a Yorkshire Parliament or calling for Yorkshire devolution is not new. There have been some heroic failures in the past. There is an argument which goes that it should be promoted by a more neutral organisation than a political party. On the other hand, a political party could benefit from an overtly political campaign but surely that would restrict the appeal of the petition. Why should other parties support a political rival even though it may be in support of such a good cause?

In fairness, this petition can only provide limited publicity for the cause. In a sense it can and will be used as a measure of support for Yorkshire devolution. Even if it gets 100,000 signatures, there is not even a guarantee of a debate in parliament, however, if it did reach this level, support for a parliament would have to be taken seriously. The cost of a referendum would probably be in the region of £10M. Note that the wording states to “allow a referendum”. It does not say that the government will pay for it.

What nobody seems to have realised is what the petition actually represents. We are trying to safeguard and protect Yorkshire and our community. We are trying to give Yorkshire the government it deserves so that decisions affecting Yorkshire are made in Yorkshire; decisions affecting localities in Yorkshire are made locally. We are trying to protect and enhance our public services. We are trying to eradicate poverty and deprivation within our region. We are fighting to preserve and enhance our democratic rights and freedoms against the erosion that they currently seem to be subject to. We are trying to preserve our “United” Kingdom against those who would seek to create such conditions that some of our peoples feel the need to leave. I suppose you could say that we are building a stronger Yorkshire in a fairer United Kingdom.

Yorkshire has been undermined by Westminster since the 1972 Local Government Act. Our rights and privileges seem to be constantly under threat. The very people who are supposed to be representing us seem to be working against us. Why the defence of our rights and the right of our community to exist should fall to a tiny regional party is beyond me but this petition is a symbol of that defence. It is a symbol of our resistance. It is a symbol of our solidarity. Do not let it become a symbol of our failure. We need Yorkshire to come together to register our protest, irrespective of who initiated it.

Sign the petition!

It is not much to ask to help secure the future of Yorkshire.


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