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Forget the 'Northern powerhouse'. Brexit has ensured that we do

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Politicians are shamelessly fickle creatures. From Mexican border walls to £350 million a week for the NHS, few things are too farfetched when it comes to the pledges of those vying to lead a state, regardless of whether the finances add up.

Sometimes, when commitments are exposed as wildly unrealistic, at least we can delight in some semblance of comedic value. Other times though, when we realise that a guarantee was really little more than hot air, it's not only deeply disappointing, but genuinely devastating for families, communities, and – in this particular case – a large portion of the country.

It pains me to say this, because I try to be an optimist, but the Northern Powerhouse that so many politicians vowed to create, support and promote, is in many cases being treated more like a slightly rusty Northern cranking motor that's seen better days.

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To mark five years since then-Chancellor George Osborne introduced his lofty ambition of bringing together the cities, towns and rural communities in the north of England to promote economic growth, the Institute for Public Policy Research this week released a report taking stock.


© Independent