Happy New Year!
2019 is set to be an historic year for the UK. On March 29 this year, the UK will leave the EU. The Prime Minister has worked tirelessly, showing grit, selflessness and determination to strike a deal with an organisation who deliberately do not want to encourage other countries to follow suit.
The idea that other leaders would be able to achieve a different deal is hard to find support, with no evidence that would be the case at all. Indeed, it would be more likely to exacerbate and prolong the uncertainty. What the UK needs is certainty.
For economic, for legislative, for business and planning purposes, we need to know exactly what will happen. It is a key reason behind my support for the ‘no to no deal’ position.
In this, I have been joined by a huge number of MPs and businesses on a cross-party basis, who recognise that we cannot crash out of the EU without a deal. Nor should we have to, if MPs pull together to support a deal put to the parliamentary vote. It isn’t a case of getting a further, different deal anymore.
In the West Midlands, many of our industries, including the automotive, would rely on a constructive deal to continue operating. The renaissance of manufacturing and its supply chains in this country, bolstered by demand for exports, is something from which we have all benefitted.
The principal market for these exports has been the European Union. The revival of the manufacturing industry has created innumerable jobs, not only via direct employment but also in the supply chain and ancillary services.
A whole generation of young people have had the opportunity to access world-class training and gone onto highly skilled and well paid employment in manufacturing with iconic, global and market-leading companies. Trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms would instantly make our manufacturers less competitive and make it very difficult for the industry to justify producing goods in the UK for export.
Leaving without a deal would make continued investment in UK manufacturing a real challenge for global firms, when they have plants in other European locations.