Prime Minister Theresa May says the North east and Britain will prosper after Brexit.
She pushed home the message today after bringing her Cabinet to the North East for an away day at the Sage Gateshead.
The event was part of the Great Exhibition of the North, with the Northern Powerhouse project also on the agenda.
Mrs May said the responses to her Chequers plan for Brexit had been “constructive” so far and - taking questions from workers at engineering firm the Reece Group in Newcastle - the PM was asked how confident she was she could sell the blueprint to other European leaders.
She said: “What I see is people focusing their minds now on the impact the future relationship will have on their economies as well as ours.
“We’ve had some constructive responses so far. I won’t say that you won’t hear some negative things being said but so far, constructive responses.”
A questioner then asked if it was inevitable there would be a no deal Brexit if Parliament rejects any agreement negotiated with the EU.
But Mrs May sidestepped the question, saying: “My aim is to bring forward a deal that Parliament will support.”
Mrs May added: “In general, I think the UK is going to do really well post-Brexit.
“I think there are huge opportunities for us. We are a great entrepreneurial, innovative, creative country, we’ve got huge skills here, our universities are fantastic.
“I think we’ve got real opportunities post-Brexit and we can be much more outward-looking.”
Mrs May said she was also hopeful that UK companies would continue to be able to win public procurement contracts in the EU after Brexit.
She added: “There’s a bit of interplay with the EU at the moment in one particular area, space and the Galileo project, about whether they will let us into that project.
“We are still working with them on that. I would hope and I think that what we will see actually is a recognition from those who are looking to procure of the benefits of procurement here.”
“The future post-Brexit is going to be what we make it. We want to get that good deal with the European Union, but we have huge benefits here in the UK, with our entrepreneurship, our innovation, our skillset, our workforces.
“We can really take those opportunities and have that brighter future.
“Many people said that immediately after the referendum, we would see a collapse in our economy. In fact our economy has continued to grow.
“Our future is what we make it.”