Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clark Tries to Ease Concerns over Brexit

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clark Tries to Ease Concerns over Brexit

Article excerpt

Byline: Graemewhitfield Business editor graeme.whitfield@reachplc.com @Graemewhitfield

BUSINESS Secretary Greg Clark has used a speech on the eve of the crunch Brexit Cabinet meeting to issue a plea for a business-friendly relationship with the EU. Mr Clark was speaking at the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit, part of the Great Exhibition of the North, just hours after the country's largest car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, joined a chorus of businesses warning over the impact of Brexit.

The country's biggest car-maker said a bad Brexit deal would cost the company more than PS1.2bn in profit each year, adding that its UK investments would be "in jeopardy" if faced with the "wrong outcome".

Its warnings come after a similar concerns from Airbus and BMW, and just a few days after Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said the company had been left "in the dark" on Brexit and couldn't make decisions on future investments for its massive plant in Sunderland.

Speaking in the Boiler Shop in Newcastle yesterday, Mr Clark said: "To the investors and workers in our car industry, whether they are at Jaguar Landrover in the West Midlands or Nissan not far away in Sunderland, you are a big part of Britain's success. We will listen to you with the seriousness and respect due to people who give to our country more than you take. We are determined to make sure that you can continue to prosper and to invest in Britain.

"Just take the North East's contribution, a region that is based on trade and always has been. From cars to chemicals, local jobs and livelihoods rely on supply chains that cover the continent.

"We have more than 120,000 men and women who work in manufacturing here in the North East and almost half a million people working across the North. Those jobs in manufacturing are increasingly sophisticated and depend on the excellence of our design, the creative sector and the universities we have represented here to come together to form a cluster of excellence that is increasingly successful.

"Services alone in the North East employ nearly a million people and nearly four million people across the North. …

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