Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

MPs Call for Guarantees for Region Following EU Exit; MPS TRAVEL TO BELGIUM TO MAKE CASE FOR NORTH EAST

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

MPs Call for Guarantees for Region Following EU Exit; MPS TRAVEL TO BELGIUM TO MAKE CASE FOR NORTH EAST

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political Editor jon.walker@reachplc.com @jonwalker121

NORTH East MPs have been to Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, to discuss how jobs in the region can be protected after Brexit.

It came as the Government's strategy was in chaos following the resignation of former Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell said: "I am in Brussels ...with colleagues to make the case for what the North East needs from Brexit, as I am not prepared to sit back and let the Government fail to do it for us."

Other MPs on the visit included Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson, Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson, Stockton South MP Paul Williams and Redcar MP Anna Turley.

There have been a series of warnings about the impact Brexit could have on the North East.

A Government analysis leaked in February found the North East economy will suffer massive damage as a result of Brexit and shrink by 11% even if there is a comprehensive trade deal.

If we leave the EU without a deal then GDP in the region will be hit by 16%.

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said in June that the firm was unable to make decisions about investment in the Sunderland factory because it is "in the dark" over how Brexit will turn out.

And James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, wrote to Theresa May to warn that poor progress on Brexit negotiations was causing huge frustration and potential damage to businesses in the North East.

Ms McKinnell said: "Leaving the EU is the single most important and complex moment in the UK's history since the Second World War, but the Government's handling of this entire process has been absolutely shambolic since the referendum result was declared.

"It's been evident for quite some time now that this situation has been driven by people clearly not up to the task, despite hundreds of thousands of British jobs and liveli-hoods being on the line. …

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