Manchester Mayoral bidder claims to be only ‘pro-European’ candidate in race

The Liberal Democrat candidate for next years Manchester mayoral elections has outlined her policies to Quays News, claiming she is the only ‘pro-European’ competitor in the race next year.

Trafford councillor Jane Brophy believes that the European Union “underpins” plenty of Manchester’s infrastructure, adding that services such as the city’s metrolink are a result of the United Kingdom’s membership of the union.

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Mrs Brophy told Quays News: “As a Liberal Democrat, I am the only proudly pro-European candidate. I would like the people of Greater Manchester to have a say on the terms we will have in a deal to leave the EU.”

Councillor Brophy added that Wigan biscuit-maker Rivington‘s closure last week was partly as a result of the sharp drop in the pound against the Euro– an aftereffect of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

She said: “It is always disappointing when small businesses like Rivington close down. It resonates with other small business owners from Greater Manchester I’ve spoken to who are absolutely concerned about Brexit.

“Brexit is having a detrimental impact on our small and our large businesses in Greater Manchester.”

Mrs Brophy continued: “Everything we have in this city is underpinned by the EU- our infrastructure, our transport systems such as the metrolink is funded by the EU.

Labour candidate Andy Burnham is the heavy favourite to win the mayoral elections in May, and has recently came out in argument that a hard Brexit could actually favour the north of England.

For Councillor Brophy therefore, the candidate will have to set out a clear alternative to win dissident Labour voters from Burnham.

Cllr Brophy added: “Many of our jobs are also dependant on trade as a result of our trade deals with the EU, and our environmental legislation, our housing, everything depends on our relationship with the EU.

“People did not vote for a hard Brexit and I would be able to appeal to those who did vote leave. Some leave voters voted on pledges such as £350 million a week would go to the NHS as a result of a leave vote but I cannot see that happening.

“I would appeal to people who voted leave, they want to see what the deal is going to be. I would like those people to have a chance to have a say.”

Seamus Martin, co-ordinator of the Vote Leave campaign for Salford and Eccles this year, argued Mrs Brophy’s is “not going to have any effect” on Britain’s course to leave the European Union.

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Seamus Martin said: “It’s just think it’s sheer opportunism on the part of the Liberal Democrats on some undecided minds on what to do after the Brexit result. It’s silly to think the Mayor of Greater Manchester will have an effect on the terms of the deal.”

With the Manchester mayor elections set to take place in May next year, candidates will have to separate themselves from the crowd to win minds. But with 7 out of 10 Greater Manchester boroughs voting to leave the EU in June, it looks like Councillor Brophy will have to have a strong campaign to be a potential winner.

This article was written for Quays News.

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