'We don’t use the word 'Brexit' any more' says Conservative Andrea Leadsom after visit to Nissan in Sunderland

Conservative Cabinet Minister Andrea Leadsom said we ‘don’t use that word’ when quizzed about industry in North East after Brexit, on a visit to Sunderland.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 9:42 am

The Business Secretary visited the Nissan factory on Thursday, February 6 before heading to the Rolls-Royce plant in Washington to open a new £40million extension where she took questions from the press.

When asked if she had discussed Brexit with Nissan, Ms Leadsom said: “We never use that word any more. That was something that happened.”

She quickly added that she had been on a ‘fantastic’ tour of the facility which is one of the biggest employers in Sunderland, before discussing ‘the asks that Nissan have of Government in looking at the future trading relationship with the EU’.

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Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business visits Rolls-Royce at Washington. Picture by FRANK REID.

No big changes planned when UK leave the EU

Ms Leadsom said that there will be ‘no big scheme to change regulations’ when the UK leaves the EU in January 2021.

She said: “What we’ve made clear is we’re not seeking divergence for its own sake and, of course, we start in a relationship where we have complete alignment.

“It’s not as if we are planning some sort of big scheme to change regulations on the first of January 2021. Far from it. What we’re seeking with the EU is a good relationship that makes sense for us and for them and enables us to continue to trade openly with each other.”

Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business visits Rolls-Royce at Washington. Picture by FRANK REID.

Winning over the North East Red Wall

Ms Leadsom visit comes just one week after Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a cabinet meeting in Sunderland.

Writing for the Sunderland Echo Mr Johnson said pledged £379m for the North East, £70m for schools in the region and 300 more police officers in the area.

The promises have been seen as a bid to win over yet more voters in the region after a number of traditional ‘red wall’ labour seats elected Tory MPs in the last election.

Ms Leadsom said her department would look at ‘productivity’ and investment for the North East from around the world after the UK leaves the EU.