Class Divide

GRIM UP NORTH: Lancashire revealed as ‘one of the POOREST parts of Europe’ according to new data

IT SEEMS little has changed since the end of the Second World War as Lancashire is revealed as one of the poorest parts of Europe, and it’s little wonder the forgotten people of the North backed Brexit. 

In total, nine UK regions feature on the list of 10 regions, with west Wales, Durham and South Yorkshire all sitting alongside Lancashire as Europe’s most deprived regions – all working-class areas, and all Brexit voting areas.

Eurostat, a European Union data agency says Lancashire is the seventh poorest area in northern Europe with suggestions indicating that industrial decline following the second world war as major factors.

Compare that to inner Remoaner London, that is ranked as one of the richest areas in Europe, meaning the gap between the richest and poorest region in the UK is the widest in the EU.

After the EU Referendum in 2016, The Guardian visited Blackpool – the most Eurosceptic place in Britain. They spoke to Eric Tomlinson, 74 who summed up the Brexit mood and was among the 67.5% of voters in Blackpool who voted to leave the EU.

“Why have we been paying these bureaucrats so many billions in Europe?” he asked, sucking hard on the end of his cigarette. “All this cash we’ve been handing over and we’ve had to blimmin’ do what they say.”

Wise Anti-EU Hero Eric added: “All these migrants have been coming from abroad and we can’t stop them because of the EU. It’s a load of muck. I don’t know why Edward Heath took us in there in the 1970sAneurin Bevan gave us the welfare state, but that was when everyone was British.”

“Why should we keep the foreigners? I saw in the paper about a woman in London with nine kids: they knocked two houses together for them. What’s that about? England is for the English. To hell with foreigners.”

It’s no wonder then, that the majority of Lancashire backed Brexit.

Following the poverty report, Local politicians have said that poor transport infrastructure in the region is a key contributing factor.

Graham Jones, Labour MP for Hyndburn, told The Lancashire Telegraph: “It doesn’t surprise me to hear this. Lancashire has been seriously neglected when it comes to investment from the government.

“What we need is more funding on travel infrastructure across East Lancashire.

“Since the end of the second world war the county has gone from a once booming region to featuring as one of the poorest places in northern Europe.”

Jones isn’t all doom and gloom he thinks it can be reversed: “This can be changed and a big part of doing that is to put East Lancashire on the road and railway map.

“We need a hugely improved transport network, and that is what I am campaigning for.” he said.

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