Newcastle MP launches consultation on EU membership with local employers
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28 Jan 2016Paul Farrelly, Labour’s MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, has launched a consultation on Britain’s membership of the European Union with the local business community.
With the referendum on whether Britain will stay within the EU now expected to be held as soon as June, Mr Farrelly is seeking the views of local businesses and community groups in Newcastle in a survey that is being sent to over 1,000 local employers.
‘This year we will make one of the most crucial decisions concerning Britain’s future. I fully support our country’s continued membership of the EU, as I think it is vital for trade, jobs, investment and our national interest,’ Mr Farrelly said.
‘This survey, though, will allow me to gain a fuller understanding of opinion from local employers, as well as the practical effects that continued membership, or withdrawal, might have here in Newcastle and North Staffordshire.’
There has already been support from local industry and trade bodies on the benefits of free access to the European single market, including the ceramics industry and Staffordshire’s Chamber of Commerce. Calls to remain have also come from influential, individual businesses, including bet365, owner of Stoke City and now the area’s biggest private sector employer.
‘I firmly believe that Britain should remain a strong, reforming member of the EU, ensuring that the economic benefits of a growing single European market are sustained and developed,’ Mr Farrelly said.
Newcastle’s MP is, however, keen to listen to a range of opinions and experiences on the issue. ‘This consultation is one of a series being conducted by Labour MPs across the country and will enable us to hear a wide range of views about our current relationship with the EU. It will also bring a better understanding of how to make it work best for us locally,’ he said.
With support from the EU playing a key role in UK universities, helping research and innovation, Mr Farrelly is also undertaking a similar consultation with Keele University to gauge the current benefits of EU membership and what impact any withdrawal might have on the university’s staff, students and research community.