Leeds council leader joins cities to back case for Remain

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake
Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake
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LEEDS City Council leader Judith Blake has joined with city leaders from across the country to warn of the dangers of leaving the European Union.

In a joint letter, the leaders of the ten biggest cities outside London describe the EU as critical to their success.

The group known as the Core Cities, which includes Leeds, has also released new research they say shows more than 700,000 jobs across the North are linked to trade with countries in the EU.

The letter says:

“A vote for Remain is a vote for prosperity and progress for Britain’s cities. A vote to leave is a vote for serious economic danger. It is simply not worth the risk.

“Across our ten cities and their surrounding regions, EU membership has created 63,000 jobs and protected another 16,800. It has provided £1.8bn of investment to help grow our urban economies, including vital infrastructure from tram lines to trunk roads.

“For us the choice is clear. If our cities are to continue to grow and prosper, we must remain a member of the European Union.”

But Vote Leave described the letter as “desperate” and urged voters to back leaving the EU next week.

Chief executive Matthew Elliott said: ‘The truth is that the UK’s cities have prospered in spite of our EU membership, not because of it.

“Our cities would benefit hugely if took back control of this money and spent it on our priorities - such as public services and infrastructure - instead.

“The only way to do this is to Vote Leave on 23 June.”