Tuesday 3 January 2017 / 1:25 PM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

This report from Change Britain is pure diversion – Barry Gardiner

Barry
Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade
, commenting on a
report from Change Britain that 400,000 jobs could be created if we withdraw
from the Customs Union and conclude trade agreements with those countries that
have expressed an interest in doing so already, said:

“This
report from Change Britain is pure diversion. They are attempting, yet again,
to mask Brexit as an exercise in pursuing free trade whilst calling for us to
leave the largest free trade area in the world. The economic cost and the sheer
volume of jobs at risk in the immediate aftermath of a withdrawal from the
Customs Union has been ignored whilst celebrating jobs which may or may not be
created in the future.

 “The
Government stated in 2014 that 3.3 million jobs in the UK were directly tied to
trade with the EU. The loss of that trade could see a substantial number of
those jobs lost. Furthermore, trade agreements can take a long time to
conclude, even in the simplest of cases. It is not enough for the Tories to
promise that jobs may be created in the future: they need to address now how
jobs and trade will not be lost in the present.”