Thursday 14 April 2016, The Wilton Centre, Redcar. The Right Honourable Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary, met with members of industry body NEPIC today to discuss current sector issues in relation to the forthcoming EU Referendum.
Mr Benn met with 12 North East industry leaders from the chemistry-based process sector companies, the majority of which are internationally owned with head offices spanning USA, Europe and Asia – demonstrating the global nature of the process sector based in this region.
Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary said:
“Foreign investment in the UK is really important to the UK economy, and being in the EU helps to attract it. I wanted to come and hear views on the EU referendum as this will have a very significant impact on how businesses view their future in the UK.”
“The vast majority of companies that I meet are very supportive of the UK staying in the EU. The conclusion from today’s discussions with NEPIC industry leaders echoed this, with particular concerns expressed by those with head offices abroad.”
NEPIC Chairman, Ian Swales, said:
“Having Mr Benn consult with NEPIC and some of its members enables us to reaffirm how important the process Industry is to the UK economy. Much of the process sector based here is owned by globalised corporations who export the majority of their products to the European Union. Today, they collectively expressed their concern over the potential of UK exit from the EU, particularly the impact upon future investment and trade tariffs.”
Dr Stan Higgins, Chief Executive of industry-body NEPIC, said:
I would like to personally thank Mr Benn for his time and input today. As the representative body for the chemical-processing industry in North East England, we are committed to ensuring the voice of industry is heard, particularly within Government. Having the ability to facilitate meetings, such as the one that has taken place today, is of key importance to the success of this sector and UK manufacturing as a whole.”