One of the world’s largest marine insurance groups currently based in the North East has announced it is opening a base in Ireland to ensure continued access to EU markets after 2019. The businesses, which collectively employ around 300 people, said this was the result of “ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future regulatory landscape”.
This comes after announcements made by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding their relocation away from London due to Brexit.
North East Labour MEPs have warned of the damages Brexit would cause the UK’s global standing and express major concerns regarding the prosperity of the region in the aftermath of leaving the EU and losing our single market membership.
Paul Brannen, Labour MEP for the North East of England, said: “The first clear signs of the negative impact Brexit will have on the UK are starting to show and, unfortunately, this is only the beginning. In its attempt to grandstand during negotiations with the EU, this government has forgotten one of its top priorities and neglected the future of our economy – an oversight which is starting to prove harmful.
“Repercussions related to the departure of the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority will be felt in terms of investment, jobs and research. This is mirrored regionally as we see the first large firm reveal its Brexit contingency plans. With no more funding from the EU, companies less likely to invest, and a government adamant to cut spending in the North East until they drain us to the last penny, how can our region ever ‘take back control’?”
Jude Kirton-Darling, Labour MEP for the North East of England, added: “Around 10,000 finance jobs could be shifted out of Britain over the next few years if the UK banks lose passporting rights after Brexit, while the relocation of the EMA will mean the loss of 900 jobs as well as a €322 million budget – €16.5m coming directly from the EU. Letting this much uncertainty loom over the future of our economy is a shameful stain on the Tory government’s already shambolic record.
“Whilst David Davis hasn’t even completed the first round of negotiations successfully, the devastating impact of Brexit has passed the point of speculation. There may not be any undoing to the damage done, but there is one thing that Theresa May should be holding on to fiercely – our single market membership, the only guarantee that the North East won’t be left behind.”
A recent business Brexit survey by the North East England Chamber of Commerce showed that almost 9 in 10 firms in our region want to maintain existing trading conditions with the EU, strongly urging the government to put their views and concerns at the heard of negotiations.