THE ARCHBISHOP of York's reaction was characteristically forward-looking, after Secretary of State James Brokenshire rejected the One Yorkshire Devolution Treaty. "What are you afraid of? Better together! "Tweeted Dr. John Sentamu from India, where he performs official duties.
He urged the Cabinet Minister to "listen to the united voice of Yorkshire," and calls on the people of Yorkshire "to stand firm against those who would share us."
And the shortsightedness of Mr. Brokenshire, who has only visited Yorkshire once, is all the more regrettable because of its central contradictions.
The Yorkshire Post says: Ministers dissatisfaction over One Yorkshire
He is a senior member of the government committed to implementing the "will of the people" in Brexit. Although the Hambleton Council is thoughtful, why does it ignore the "will" of 17 local councilors, the mayor of Sheffield City Region, and the one-to-one corporations affiliated to One Yorkshire? On the one hand, the CBI has confirmed its support.
He heads the Whitehall Ministry, which is responsible for overseeing local decisions. Then why does the minister only allow the devolution to develop on conditions that seem increasingly confusing?
He is also part of a Tory-led government that has allegedly committed to closing the North-South divide. Why is a proposal rejected if it could generate up to £ 30 billion annually for the regional and national economy?
A Yorkshire advocate is right to follow Dr Sentamu's leadership. The question of the future governance and growth of this region will persist for a long time after Mr Brokenshire resigned, and his opposition, some claim tenacity, should not become insurmountable if the future of over five million people is at stake stands.
However, instead of making political decisions through press releases, with which the Community Secretary announced his final decision, he should accept One Yorkshire's invitation for personal dialogue. A way forward can only be found if the answer to the archbishop's question is clearer – what are the ministers afraid of?