The UK’s membership of the EU is essential to accelerating growth in the UK car industry in the North East, Angela Eagle MP will argue today (Wednesday 8 June). Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills will highlight new analysis which shows that a car rolls off a UK production line bound for Europe every 36 seconds.
The EU is the biggest free market in the world, allowing the UK’s world-leading manufacturers to export cars tariff-free. Almost half (44 per cent) of all the cars made in the UK last year were exported to the EU. Last year we exported more cars to Europe than ever before, and demand is growing fast, rising by 11 per cent last year.
Leaving the EU would risk access to the single market. Tariffs on car exports would undermine the car industry, threatening jobs and investment locally.
That’s why the UK’s car industry and trade unions representing the workforce are in favour of the UK remaining in the EU. A recent survey of employers in the car industry found that three in four (77 per cent) thought that remaining in Europe was best for their business.
The car industry is crucial for the North East. 13,600 people work in the car industry in the region, making up one in eight manufacturing jobs. They produce 500,000 cars a year, adding billions of pounds to the economy. The North East alone exported £3.0 billion worth of road vehicles to the EU in 2014.
Angela Eagle MP said:
“The car industry is absolutely vital for the North East’s economy, providing thousands of high-pay, high-skilled jobs.
“The EU is good for business and good for working people too. Nowhere is this more evident than in our world-beating car industry. Staying in the EU can help us build on this success. But leaving would put this all at risk.
“The EU is vital for jobs, for investment and for workers’ rights. That’s why Labour is campaigning hard to remain.”