I have been contacted by many constituents already about the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, and continue to receive lots of correspondence on this issue.
I want to make it clear that unless there are significant changes to this deal I will voting against it when it finally comes before Parliament, as I feel it does not deliver for the region, or the UK as a whole.
The North East is heavily reliant on our membership of the EU, and the Government’s own analysis shows the region will be worse off after Brexit with local businesses expecting a negative impact following Brexit. We will also lose European funding for infrastructure and skills development which has been so important across the region.
The North East is also home to a number of top class universities, and there is a real risk these institutions will no longer be able to access EU research funding or participate in research networks. These networks and projects could be vital in developing the high quality jobs that are much needed in the area, and are so important for the continued success of our universities.
The EU also provides strong protections for our natural environment, heritage, rights at work and help tackle climate change. I am concerned that this deal leaves the door open for these policies to be eroded in the future, and will simply serve to make the region, and the whole of the UK, a poorer place to live.
I do not, however, wish to see a no-deal Brexit. I hope that we can either get a better deal in place for the UK, and if not that we move to a General Election, or hold a people’s vote with all options on the table – including remaining in the EU.