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 Hartlepool Mail 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.
The findings are in line with recently leaked government analysis which suggests that the North East of England, meanwhile, will be one of the worst affected areas.
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill said the new findings made worrying reading. “Looking at the projected impact on other regions as well as our own, I have to say that these predicted outcomes are of real concern to me,” he said.
“I always look at statistics with a heavy dose of scepticism, but if they are correct, and they do come from a very credible source, then they are flagging up very clear warning signs.
“The people of Hartlepool voted for Brexit, not for job losses, a weak economy or a poorer society.
The people of Hartlepool voted for Brexit, not for job losses, a weak economy or a poorer society.Mike Hill MP
“My constituents deserve to know where they’re walking and thanks to the Government’s handling of negotiations so far that is beginning to look more and more like wishful thinking.”
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.
“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.”
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 point.”