Lord Beith warns of Brexit impact on the local economy
Former Berwick MP Lord Beith has warned the Government of the potentially devastating impact of Brexit on the North East's economy,
Speaking in the House of Lords, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Beith asked what assessment the Government has made of the potential impact on the region’s economy of the outcomes being sought through the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union.
After the debate, Lord Beith said: “The North East has consistently had the most positive trade balance of any region of the United Kingdom, but 58 per cent of its exports are to EU countries.
“If the Prime Minister is no longer even trying to secure the fullest possible participation in the single market, we need to be very clear about the effect of post-Brexit tariff and other barriers on exporting industries, which they will face long before any new deals with non-EU countries can be reached.
“The thousands of people in the North East whose jobs depend on trade with Europe need to know who is speaking up on our behalf in the Government.”
In response, the Conservatives said it was hoped to achieve a deal which gives British companies the maximum freedom to trade and to operate across the single market and doing business right across the globe.
Lord Beith, who served as Berwick’s MP from 1973 to 2015, has said he will continue to raise the North East’s issues with the Government.