Speaking to Labour North’s economy policy forum at Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium tonight, Seema Malhotra MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“The North East region has potentially the most to gain from staying in the EU but the most to lose by walking away.
“This region is the nation’s exporter, a region that delivers a trade surplus, home to the Europe’s most productive car maker and the newest train-builder. Looking out from this stadium we can see the vastness of the chemical industry which dominates the Teesside skyline, providing thousands of jobs employed by companies from the continent. Our continued membership of the EU can unlock further growth, encourage further investment and bring more jobs to this region.
“Over 100,000 jobs and nearly 4,000 apprentices are directly linked with trade with our EU partners and over half of all exports from the region are with Europe. It would be a huge risk to leave the world’s largest trading block.
“We’re making Labour’s case to stay in. The North East is better off in Europe. It brings us jobs, growth and investment, protects British workers and consumers and helps keep us safe. Leaving would put that at risk.
“Walking away from Europe would leave this region totally at the mercy of an uncaring Tory government. The people of Teesside know all too well, after the tragedy of the ending of steelmaking, how empty George Osborne’s talk of a Northern Powerhouse is. It is vital we win the argument and win the vote to remain in.”