Labour politicians from across the West are calling on the UK Government to commission and publish economic assessments of how Brexit will affect the West of England now.
The region’s MEP, five MPs and two of its Prospective Parliamentary candidates have united behind a letter calling on David Davis to publish an assessment of the impact of Brexit on each nation and region of the UK.
Research by the University of Birmingham shows that the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset economic area – including Bristol, Swindon and Stroud – is one of the most exposed to Brexit in the entire country.
In a joint statement, the Labour politicians said:
“The Government is taking decisions about Brexit without assessing its impact on the West of England. We are pushing ministers to put consideration of Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire people and businesses at the heart of its decisions.
“Following the chaos and confusion of the sectoral impact assessments that weren’t, the DExEU department or, if it is incapable of doing so, the Treasury, must commission analysis of the consequences for each UK region and nation – and publish it.
“Our area is one of the most exposed to Brexit, with 15.6% of our economy at risk – the third highest in the country. People and businesses throughout the West of England have a right to know what Government decisions will mean for their jobs, their livelihoods, their futures.
“UK regions are far more exposed than anywhere else in Europe, with the highest levels of regional GDP exposure to Brexit found in many of Britain’s non-core regions.
“The bottom line is we need to know what will happen to our people and our businesses outside the EU. David Davis and the Government should heed the calls of the Labour MEPs’ letter by commissioning and publishing regional impact assessments. We need to know that the Government is making informed decisions on the future of our country and that it is allowing the people who will be affected to be aware of the consequences of those decisions.
“History is littered with examples of bad decisions made through ill-informed or judgement or made in secret.”
The Labour politicians are Clare Moody MEP (South West & Gibraltar), Thangam Debbonaire MP (Bristol West), David Drew MP (Stroud), Darren Jones MP (Bristol North West), Kerry McCarthy MP (Bristol East), Karin Smyth MP (Bristol South), Fran Boait (PPC for Gloucester) and Sarah Church (PPC for South Swindon).