North Northumberland Parliamentary candidate criticises main parties for “complete failure” on England and Scotland relationship

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An Independent candidate for the General Election has criticised the main political parties for what she believes is their “complete failure” on trying to foster good cross-border relations.

Georgina Hill – who is standing for the North Northumberland parliamentary seat, with polling stations open on July 4 – has previously called for greater co-operation between England and Scotland.

One of the more notable examples highlighted by the Northumberland County councillor for Berwick East is former Prime Minister Liz Truss saying in 2022: “I think the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon (former Scotland First Minister) is ignore her.”

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In the same year, Coun Hill met with Angus Robertson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, to discuss cross-border relations and impact of any potential future vote for Scottish independence.

Coun Georgina Hill pictured at a England/Scotland border point.Coun Georgina Hill pictured at a England/Scotland border point.
Coun Georgina Hill pictured at a England/Scotland border point.

She said: “It seems to me that main party politicians of all colours and on both sides of the border have given up on trying to build up good relations between Scotland and England, seeming to accept that a messy divorce is inevitable. This has been a complete failure.

“For those of us living in North Northumberland, especially in Berwick, Scotland is not so much another country but just up the road – with residents crossing the border for work, education, shopping or visiting family and friends on a frequent basis.

“We also have the shared concerns over being neglected and misunderstood by a remote, London and South East-centric Westminster elite.

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“There is no meaningful co-operation on important areas including health, education and fisheries, even though this would benefit both sides. It is as though there is an iron border.”

Coun Hill, who has Scottish connections, added that the MP for North Northumberland should play a key role in helping bridge the divide.

She also set-up a petition a few years ago that is still active – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/do-not-forget-the-real-north – calling for the Government to recognise ‘The Real North’. In it, she shows a map with ‘The Real North’ as the section of country from around Middlesbrough upwards and everywhere below as ‘Not the North’.

Although she has described it as “slightly tongue in cheek”, she said it has an important message about the North being neglected.

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