MEPs Welcome Westminster Hall Debate

25 October 2016

North East MEPs Jude Kirton-Darling and Paul Brannen have praised the actions of Labour MPs during a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of leaving the European Union on North East exports.

The impact of Brexit on the North East was raised initially by Phil Wilson MP, who emphasised the importance of access to the Single Market for the North East. He highlighted that the people of the North East voted for Leave campaign promises, which included that the economy would remain the same or even be better after we leave the European Union.

Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy raised the pressing issue that is that the favoured trade model will not give control back to voters who told us that that is what they wanted.

Since the referendum Jude and Paul have undertaken a broad consultation of organisations and the public around our region to gauge opinion on what the priorities should be for the North East as we leave the EU. It is clear from these conversations that protecting jobs is one of the biggest issues which people have on their minds. The increased costs of trade, such as the introduction of tariffs and administrative requirements, is seen by key business organisations and companies as a barrier to growth and investment in our region’s future.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said:

“It is vital that the government undertakes and publishes impact assessments on the implications of different Brexit scenarios for the English regions and devolved administrations.

“160,000 North East jobs rely on EU trade it is extremely important that they are not put at risk by a chaotic Brexit and poor future EU-UK deal.”

Paul Brannen MEP said:

“Our region’s economy must be protected and the Westminster Hall debate sent a strong message to the government that the people of the North East will not be left behind. Thanks to our region’s MPs the North East voice was heard loud and clear.”

Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, said:

“The North East is Britain’s major goods exporting region. It is a powerful indicator of the impact this government’s chaotic approach to Brexit and future trade is having on business confidence, job security and foreign investment.

"While 58% of voters in the region voted to leave the EU, the referendum did not give this Tory government a mandate to strike secretive trade deals that undercut our industries, our workers’ rights, or our prosperity.

"I congratulate Phil Wilson for securing this vitally important debate. He was backed up by the redoubtable Julie Elliott, Tom Blenkinsop, Bridget Phillipson, Iain Wright and Anna Turley who all spoke fiercely to defend their constituents’ jobs and living standards.

"What is becoming increasingly clear is that the government is using Brexit as a way of undermining labour standards and wage levels. Labour is clear: we must leave the EU as the public have demanded. But we must leave to make their lives better not worse. We want a Brexit that works for everyone not just for the big corporations."

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