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House of Lords warned of job losses, less investment in North East

June 10, 2016 10:35 AM
By John Shipley

The NE is a manufacturing region and an exporting region. Many thousands of jobs (around 150,000) in the North East (and millions across the UK) depend on exporting to our European partners. Leaving the EU's single market, which is the world's largest free trade zone, would hit our trade and investment and increase unemployment.

I am proud that my region has a positive balance of trade, said Lord Shipley .This is because we make things. We manufacture cars and now trains. We have huge supply chains in support of our manufacturing. It would increase unemployment significantly if we voted to leave the EU.

The NE simply can afford the cost of Brexit. It would be a massive own goal disrupting our economy and the livelihoods of very many households.

Last year 44 foreign inward investment projects came to the NE but this will be put at risk if we leave the EU. Why would an overseas company seeking to expand in the EU want to put itself outside the single market facing tariff barriers to its exports?

The NE needs access to the EU single market of 500 million people, with a say over the rules of doing business across Europe. That means more jobs and more financial security for our region.

In addition to manufacturing, sectors like farming, science, higher education, tourism, and hospitality would also be adversely affected by Brexit and the North East would lose access to hundreds of millions of pounds of EU funding for regional development.

The success of our universities relies heavily on EU research funding, and our businesses rely on free movement of skilled workers (both to and from the UK) to drive growth and jobs.

Manufacturing still provides half of our country's exports, three quarters of scientific innovation and two and a half million jobs.

Almost all UK economists support our remaining in the EU.

Amazingly, one economist who favours Brexit, Professor Minford, has admitted that if we left the EU it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing. This is an unacceptable. We need manufacturing. We need the innovation, the jobs and the growth manufacturing can bring.

Car manufacturers, rail manufacturers - indeed all manufacturers -who export or plan to export want access to the European single market to enable them to trade freely on common technical standards.

Small businesses need the same because they form part of the critical supply chain to bigger businesses

  • * The EU helps all these industries by eliminating barriers -both tariff and non-tariff barriers. The next stage of development of the single market will bring down the remaining barriers to trade in services, energy and digital industries which will be hugely beneficial to the UK.
  • * Our success at manufacturing depends on our continued membership of the EU.
  • * In the NE the warnings from Hitachi and Nissan need to be taken very seriously indeed. They want us to be in the single market and their view matters profoundly. The NE needs the jobs and prosperity they bring.
  • * Our future in the NE depends on our being part of the EU and its single market. Voting to leave would do immense damage to our economy, our growth prospects and the prospects of our next generation.
  • We must vote to remain in the EU.