EFA defends devolution to Yorkshire as a key tool for social progress

As the only European Political Party that actively works for self-determination and territorial autonomy in all its degrees, the European Free Alliance defends devolution to Yorkshire in order to achieve further social progress in the region.

During a speech at the 2019 Autumn Conference of the Yorkshire Party, held in Wakefield on 11-12 October, EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle said:

“The European Free Alliance is gaining weight in the political spectrum as the only  European political party that actively works for self-determination in all its degrees.

Autonomy and Devolution are our key words. At both EFA and the Yorkshire Party, we are convinced that they are the best tools for social progress in our societies.

EFA promotes regional self-governance since it can clearly contribute to the further development of participatory democracy tools and citizens’ empowerment.

In Wales, devolution may have gotten off to a slow start, but in 2011, voters resoundingly supported further devolution in a referendum, with the Assembly gaining more law-making powers on devolved matters.

Even the Silk Commission, the landmark report on the future of devolution set up by the UK Government, recommended powers over public transport and large scale energy projects be devolved, as well as increasing the number of Assembly Members to strengthen the Senedd.

Some of the more visible successes of devolution in Wales have been things like being the first to introduce a levy on plastic bags and introducing an opt-out system for organ donation.

The Future Generations Act (2015) has been internationally praised and obliges any Government to consider the influence of any individual policy development in terms of long-term impact on Wales: its communities, prosperity, health, environmental impact, etc.

We can therefore say that even with the relatively few powers that Wales has, since devolution it has pursued drastically different, more progressive policies and priorities to that of Westminster governments at UK level.

Devolution for Yorkshire too, would mean that citizens would be empowered, and able to make choices in those key areas, where it has been let down time and time again by the central state. And the Yorkshire Party is the only political organization campaigning for devolution to Yorkshire”.