Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Releasing Report on Brexit Early 'Silly' Says Mayor

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Releasing Report on Brexit Early 'Silly' Says Mayor

Article excerpt


TEES Mayor Ben Houchen does not believe a leaked report which shows the North-east would be hit hard by Brexit should be released.

The Government analysis was leaked to Buzzfeed on Tuesday and claimed Britain would lose out under all scenarios once it leaves the EU.

The North-east would be one of the regions hit hardest by leaving, with the chemical sector shown to be one of the industries forecast to struggle.

Mr Houchen's Labour counterpart in Greater Manchester, Andy To release information invariably Burnham, has demanded the report be released to assess the economic impact of Brexit on each region.

negotiations And Dr Paul Williams, the Stockton South Labour MP, is one of 44 cross party MPs who has signed a letter demanding the report be released.

But Conservative Mr Houchen, who represents people across five local authorities, believes as the document is at a preliminary stage it shouldn't be released - yet.

A spokesman for the Mayor said: "Ben doesn't believe we should be approaching these negotiations having revealed all our thinking - especially reports that contain a significant number of caveats and broad assumptions. "To release the information now would invariably damage our negotiations in Europe.

"As for the report itself, it misses one major point: it doesn't take into consideration the government's preferred option of a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU.

"So releasing the report now without looking at our preferred post-Brexit model would be silly!" Mr Houchen has been vocal in his views on how Brexit can benefit the region - which overwhelmingly voted to leave in the 2016 referendum.

He has pressed the Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXEU) to replace any EU funds the region may lose after Brexit, devolve further powers to the Tees Valley, and lobbied for free port status for Teesport.

the now would The leaked report looked at the three most plausible scenarios for Britain after leaving the EU. …

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