Sunderland MPs urge government to get to grips with Brexit talks as fears grow over impact on North East

Workers at Nissan, one of the North East businesses which trade extensively with Europe.
Workers at Nissan, one of the North East businesses which trade extensively with Europe.
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Business and political leaders have urged the Government to get to grips with Brexit after warnings the North East could be hardest hit by the UK leaving the European Union.

Today, the Sunderland Echo publishes the results of the latest research into possible economic consequences of Brexit, showing the areas of the UK which voted most strongly in favour of Leave in June 2016 are likely to bear the economic brunt of departure.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson.

The findings are in line with recently leaked Government analysis which suggests that the North East of England will be one of the areas worst affected by a bad deal.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson, whose constituency covers Sunderland’s Nissan plant, said: “The Government’s chaotic approach to Brexit is deeply concerning to me and my constituents.

“Following the referendum, I made a commitment to my constituents that I would ensure the best possible Brexit deal was secured for them.

“It is clear from the Government’s assessment reports that the North East is not a priority for them.

The Government’s chaotic approach to Brexit is deeply concerning to me and my constituents.

Sharon Hodgson MP

“That is why I will continue to ensure that the concerns of those living and working in the North East are raised in Parliament to make sure that our voice is not lost in these vital Brexit negotiations.”

Her Houghton and Sunderland South colleague Bridget Phillipson said: “These findings are hugely worrying, as they back up the recently-leaked Government analysis that the North East will be one of the worst affected areas.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Tory Government is making a mess of Brexit.

“All indications are that leaving the single market will put jobs at risk in our area, that leaving the Customs Union will increase prices for local people, and that an extreme Tory Brexit will inflict huge damage on UK manufacturing.

Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson.

Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson.

“That’s why I will continue to do all I can to oppose Theresa May’s disastrous vision for Brexit and fight for the best possible outcome for everyone in our region.”

Read more: Boris Johnson’s colourful call to arms over Europe means little when Brexit theatens Sunderland’s economy

North East England Chamber of Commerce director of policy Ross Smith said: “Our businesses are the most successful in the country when it comes to trading with Europe.

“If doing that trade is going to be made more difficult, it stands to reason that we have the most to lose.

“What is a surprise is that 20 months after the vote, the Government has still failed to adequately address this.”