Sunderland MP calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to rule out 'No-Deal' Brexit

Wearside MP Sharon Hodgson has called on Theresa May to rule out a No Deal Brexit, which she argues will see "working people" suffer.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 1:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 1:43 pm
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West.

Mrs Hodgson, who represents Washington and Sunderland West and is also Shadow Minister for Public Health, says she has been contacted by local businesses who are growing "increasingly concerned" by the lack of certainty around Brexit.

The MP recently joined over 200 MPs in signing a letter to the Prime Minister urging the Government to agree a mechanism that would ensure a ‘No Deal’ Brexit could not take place.

Prime minister Theresa May. Pic by PA.

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She has also supported an Amendment to the Finance Bill which would limit the scope for tax changes following a ‘No-Deal’ unless authorised by MPs.

Although the specific effect of this measure may be limited, it signals that there is no majority in the House of Commons for ‘No-Deal’.

Mrs Hodgson has also highlighted a statement from car manufacturer Nissan, which employs thousands of people at its Sunderland plant, which is in her constituency.

In a recent statement the company said: "Frictionless trade has enabled the growth that has seen our Sunderland plant become the biggest factory in the history of the UK car industry, exporting more than half of its production to the EU.

"Today we are among those companies with major investments in the UK who are still waiting for clarity on what the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU will look like."

Mrs Hodgson said: "There have been growing calls by some people in recent weeks and months for a ‘No-Deal’ or ‘Clean Break’ Brexit, in which we would leave the European Union (EU) without an agreement.

"This is being painted by some, as a harmless and convenient way in which to bring the current political crisis over Brexit to an end.

"What these latest figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Government’s own financial analysis and the concerns I have heard from local businesses, the North East Chamber of Commerce show, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and Trade Unions is that this could not be further from the truth.

"When the automotive and manufacturing industries highlight the huge impacts that any disruption at the border could have, it’s important to listen.

"No politician should claim to know more about the intricate nature of industry, than those who actually work within it, and this is something I will never do.

"It is all too easy for some to dismiss the concerns being raised as ‘Project Fear’, but the very real truth is that there is now the possibility of severe and long-term damage being done to our region due to the reckless approach to Brexit by this Tory Government.

"It won’t be the Boris Johnsons or the Jacob Rees-Moggs of the world who suffer, it will be working people in the North-East.

"Our region has already suffered disproportionately under nine years of punishing austerity, and as the proud Labour MP for my constituency I will never inflict more pain on those I represent.

"That is why I will continue to back the Labour Party in calling on the Prime Minister to do the right thing by dropping her red lines, ruling out ‘No-deal’ and allow Parliament to decide next steps."