The EU is the best framework for the trade and co-operation that is vital for the future of manufacturing in the North East, according to Alex Cunningham, and the Prime Minister has thrown his support behind the Labour MP’s commitment to remain part of the Union despite opposition from his own Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.
Being part of Europe makes our economy more robust, helps businesses create jobs and delivers lower prices for British families. Britain remains a proud trading nation and exports to EU countries were worth £227 billion last year. At the same time, an average of £26.5 billion of investment comes into Britain per year from Europe, with three million jobs in Britain linked to trade with Europe while future trade could create 790,000 more by 2030.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, the Stockton North MP spoke of the importance of local firms such as Nifco UK to the region’s economy, employing hundreds of people while attracting investment in northern economies and encouraging international trade.
Alex then asked:
“I’m sure the Prime Minister knows of the need for us all to back our manufacturing industry, but does he agree with Nifco’s Managing Director, Mike Matthews, who says it would be “business suicide” for the UK to leave the EU?”
The Prime Minister responded by acknowledging the importance of manufacturing to the future prosperity of the North East and underscored the need to listen carefully to the voices of such businesses.
Speaking afterwards, Alex said:
“The future for our families and our country will be on the line on June 23rd when the nation goes to the polls to decide whether to remain strong in the European Union or leave Britain isolated on the outside.
“It isn’t often that I agree with the Prime Minister, but I was pleased that he agrees a vote to remain is crucial for the future of the North East and hope that everyone will embrace this message – including the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.
“This is the most important decision in a generation and I am wholly committed to keeping the UK in the EU. Remaining a part of the Union is in the best interests of the country, our people and our region – not only for what it delivers today but as a framework through which we can achieve much more in the future.