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UK’s Withdrawal from the EU

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 3:40 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Jack Dromey Jack Dromey Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions) 3:40 pm, 14th February 2019

My hon. Friend makes a powerful point. Jaguar Land Rover—the Jaguar plant in my constituency and the Land Rover plant in the constituency of the right hon. Member for Meriden—has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of workers locally, and the riposte from the ERG is “Eff business.” It is absolutely disgraceful.

We are determined to press on regardless with positive talks, with a view to trying to reach agreement. Why? Not least because of what we were told on Tuesday night at a meeting that we organised here with representatives of the five biggest manufacturing companies, and others with interests in food, finance and farming. All spoke with one voice: “We cannot crash out without a deal, and we want a good deal to protect the British national interest.” We were told that

“the effects of No Deal are happening now”,

and that American investors in manufacturing companies now see us as the “problem child of Europe”.

An investment that would have created 1,000 jobs in Northern Ireland has been shelved, and 80% of CBI members have stopped investing while the uncertainty continues. Inward investment in the automotive sector has halved. Automotive companies are planning shutdowns after 29 March. Businesses are being told by their contractors to build up three months’-worth of stock after that date, which is costing them a small fortune and using up valuable storage space. As the National Farmers Union has said, 90% of animal vaccines are imported, and in a no-deal scenario it cannot guarantee that necessary vaccines will be readily available.