Here in the North East we know only too well about the importance of trade. We’re a small but perfectly formed region built on what we can produce and share.
History tells our story best of all. In the 13th century Newcastle was the leading English exporter for leather. Livestock from Northumberland provided the hides and all was going well until conflict with Scotland opened up, damaged the whole of the border lands and with it destroyed our trade. In the 14th century the first shipyard opened in Sunderland whose exports for centuries would reach every shore. Our coal fuelled the industrial revolution. In the 18th century the ironworks in Bedlington produced the metal for railways around the world as well as for the historic Stockton and Darlington first steam powered railway.
Fast forward to the 21st century we come the full circle with Hitachi’s train manufacturing plant not only providing the Intercity Express Programme carriages but competing for contracts across Europe from their new manufacturing centre in Newton Aycliffe. The Northern TUC was proud to campaign with Phil, the council, employers and the community to bring rail manufacturing to its rightful home.
Here in the North East we know only too well about the importance of trade. We’re a small but perfectly formed region built on what we can produce and share.... Read more
"Thank you for inviting me to talk to you about TTIP today. As you know this issue has been attracting a lot of interest. It's also generated a great deal of concern, and I congratulate Business Durham for organizing such a timely debate. It's absolutely crucial that we talk about TTIP. As your MEP I'll have to vote on the deal once it's finalized and I simply cannot make such an important call on my own.
While negotiations are ongoing, I also have the opportunity to pass on messages to the negotiators and as such to influence the process. So I'm gathering a lot of information to be able to best defend the interests of the region in the negotiations. I've talked to everyone that has reached out to me since being elected. I've organised public meetings across the region on the issue and took part to countless debates, and I'm very happy to be here today to be able to listen to what Durham's Businesses have to say about TTIP.
But before I sit down and listen, I've been asked by the organizers of this meeting to report back briefly on the policy side of TTIP, as the European Labour lead on the negotiations.
So I'll say a few words on the context of TTIP overall, on where the Labour party stands and on what we have been doing as Labour MEPs to influence the negotiations from Brussels in order secure the best possible outcome.
"Thank you for inviting me to talk to you about TTIP today. As you know this issue has been attracting a lot of interest. It's also generated a great deal... Read more
“Welcome to NetPark at the heart of my constituency. A fitting venue for this conference, because it oozes optimism and confidence in the future, which I believe is at the heart of what we are to discuss today
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, sounds like a very esoteric concept, without wide appeal, but I know how important it is by the fact this conference is oversubscribed and reveals how central the issue of TTIP is to the North East business community.
We have representatives from the European Parliament Jude Kirton-Darling, Westminster John Healey MP chair of TTIP All Party Group, Neil Foster of the Northern TUC and Jim Neel, Economic officer U.S. embassy. They will give us a broad prospective on where we are with TTIP, what the issues are from a policy point of view and the partnerships potential for North East business.
And I know we can have a good discussion about many of the issues up for negotiation during the process of reaching agreement between the U.S. And EU.
I know there is a long way to go but I'd rather be at the table negotiating the deal rather than away from it.
That is why I have no hesitation in saying up front that Britain’s Role is as an active participant in the European Union to get the best deal for Britain, it's people and economy. Uncertainty on our position in Europe is not good for business.
“Welcome to NetPark at the heart of my constituency. A fitting venue for this conference, because it oozes optimism and confidence in the future, which I believe is at the heart... Read more