As people will know parliament is today considering Brexit. Whilst I respect the outcome of the referendum, and recognise the choice of the people of Weaver Vale, the process of how Brexit is achieved is hugely important to jobs and industry.
I was concerned therefore to receive a joint statement from the European Chemical Industry Council and the UK Based Chemical Industry Association highlighting the dangers of leaving the EU without a trade deal and the importance of a transitional period. At present, the government’s approach is putting us in grave danger of crashing out without a deal, and without the type of transitional period businesses and workers need.
I do not always agree with the Chemical Industries Association on everything – I do not believe fracking should be part of a future solution to the needs of Energy Intensive Industries for example – but I do share their belief in the importance of the industry to our economy, and the need to protect high social, environmental and health and safety standards post Brexit.
I also believe that the many highly skilled workers in Weaver Vale and elsewhere who work in this industry demand and deserve a secure future, one in which their rights are protected and enhanced, not watered down.
I have written to the Brexit Secretary David Davis to ask for his response on the issues raised.
The Chemical Industry has a proud and prominent place in our area’s industrial history and landscape. The government must do everything it can to make sure it continues to have a safe and secure future too. I will continue to demand they put the right measures in place to secure this.