Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quitting the EU Will Aid Region's Economy - MEP

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quitting the EU Will Aid Region's Economy - MEP

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor

THERE is no reason to believe claims that Brexit will devastate the North East economy, an MEP has insisted.

North East MEP Jonathan Arnott, a supporter of Brexit, has produced a detailed report setting out reasons why quitting the EU will actually help the economy.

Brexit will allow the UK Government to ensure contracts worth millions or billions of pounds go to UK firms, he said.

And an independent UK may be able to sign crucial trade deals with the US - while the EU waits at the back of the queue.

It follows the high-profile leak of Treasury studies which said the North East's economy will be 11% smaller 15 years after Brexit if there is a trade deal, or 16% smaller if we leave the EU without a trade deal.

Mr Arnott said: "As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, it's important that claims are critically examined."

It emerged last month that a Treasury analysis had found leaving the EU will mean the UK's economy is 5% smaller than if we stayed in - even if the UK agrees a trade deal with Brussels.

And the assessment, which has not officially been published, found the North East would be particularly hard hit.

While it's unclear exactly what impact that would have on the region, a smaller economy suggests there will be fewer jobs and lower wages.

The findings were seized on by opponents of Brexit, and some argued that they showed why there should be a second referendum.

But Mr Arnott, a former UKIP MEP and now an independent, said there was no reason to believe they are true.

He said: ? The findings fail to take into account the damaging effect of planned EU policies that will hit the UK if we stay in. For example, the EU plans a new Financial Transaction Tax, which would cost the UK more than other EU countries; ? …

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