Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

EU 'Out' Vote Will Hurt Region, Warns Miliband

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

EU 'Out' Vote Will Hurt Region, Warns Miliband

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme Whitfield Business editor graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE North East could be the big losers if the UK votes to leave the European Union, former Foreign Minister David Miliband has warned.

The ex-South Shields MP made a rare foray back into British politics at the same time that the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for UK economic growth over fears of disruption if Britain votes to leave the European Union on June 23.

Mr Miliband, who now runs the International Rescue Committee in New York, warned that Brexit would lead to the "destruction" of the international order and would reduce Britain's standing in the world.

And he said that the economic benefits of EU membership meant areas like the North East had the most to lose if the country voted to leave Europe.

He said: "No nation in human peacetime history has voluntarily given up as much political power as we are being invited to throw away on June 23 and nowhere in Britain would the cold, hard reality of Leave be more punishing than in the North East.

"Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and others who seek to persuade you to take a leap in the dark are the same people who argued against the minimum wage. Do not allow Out campaigners to fool anyone. A British exit from Europe would be a blight on the North East economy.

"This is a region that builds things. Its proud manufacturing heritage, supported today by world-class operations such as Sunderland's Nissan and Hitachi Rail Europe in Newton Aycliffe, means the North East stands tall as the only region with a positive balance of trade. The trade agreements which make that exporting record possible will be placed at risk by a Brexit - that is not in question.

"Being in Europe multiplies the North East's prosperity. The region is a net recipient of EU funds. …

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