On 24 September, the manufacturers' association Make UK released its Regional Manufacturing Outlook report. It clearly shows that Brexit has already started causing real damage to the North East.
With our region being heavily dependent on exports to the continent it's no surprise that the uncertainty we've seen over the last three years – and crucially the very real prospect of a no-deal exit on 31 October – has badly affected businesses' prospects. In the manufacturing sector, the jewel in the crown of our regional economy which employs one out of ten worker, investment and employment intentions have plunged and are now in "deep red" according to Make UK. Our region's performance in this respect is worse than that of any other UK region. The report highlights in particular the dire situation of the automotive sector. We need to take an honest look at the facts: Brexit means that important investment decisions have already been delayed or cancelled altogether in the region, even as we've not left yet, and this is nothing compared to what would actually happen to the North East in case of a no-deal Brexit.