Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teesside MEPs Reveal Their Plans for Life outside the EU

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teesside MEPs Reveal Their Plans for Life outside the EU

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Johnson Reporter

TEESSIDE MEPs have revealed their post-Brexit plans - after Britain's decision to quit the EU effectively cost them their jobs.

Our region's three members of the European Parliament could be unemployed by 2019 if the EU referendum result is enforced by the Government.

But UKIP's Jonathan Arnott, a former teacher who lives in Guisborough, has already spoken of his joy at the result, saying: "I campaigned to leave - as a Member of the European Parliament that made me a turkey voting for Christmas.

"I'll no longer be an MEP, and I don't know whether I'll go back to teaching or train for something completely new, but whatever I do I'll be safe in the knowledge that our country has regained our independence and ability to govern ourselves."

However, the North-east's other MEPs don't share his sentiments.

Labour's Paul Brannen said he was appalled at the result, but is more concerned about the result impacting on other people's jobs than his own.

"I have long been a supporter of the European Union as a platform for solidarity and tolerance," he said.

"Losing the jobs and guarantees on workers' rights that the EU provides is a blow and it means we will have to fight even harder for working people across Britain.

"My job is not something that concerns me at the moment. I have only been a full-time politician for two years.

"Making sure the people of the North-east get as fair a deal as possible is my focus at this time."

Since the historic vote, there have been calls from disgruntled members of the Remain camp for a second referendum.

None of the North-east's MEPs say they want a second vote, with Mr Arnott saying he was "astonished" by the calls.

And Labour's Jude KirtonDarling saying the focus should instead switch to ensuring the region gets the best deal possible as Britain negotiates to leave.

Speaking of the result, the MEP added: "Having campaigned actively for a Remain vote, it was a bitter disappointment.

"The EU has created jobs across the region, invested in our infrastructure, protected our rights, helped maintain peace and stability and improved our environment. …

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