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Bridget_Phillipson_MP_for_Houghton_and_Sunderland_South.jpgMore than two months have passed since the UK voted to leave the European Union and the promises made by the Leave campaign before the referendum are unravelling thick and fast. 

In recent weeks, we have heard from the Home Secretary that British nationals might have to pay a fee to travel to Europe. This was never mentioned by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign.

‘Change Britain’, a new pressure group of Leave campaigners who want to push the Prime Minister into a ‘hard Brexit’, have also quietly abandoned the signature pledge to spend an extra £350m a week on the NHS once the UK leaves the EU. Many people who voted to leave did so on the understanding that more money would be available for our struggling health services.

Before the referendum we were also assured by the Leave campaign that a bright future lay ahead outside of the EU, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the government's response to the Brexit vote has caused major economic uncertainty. 

To those who would say this is nothing more than scaremongering, the memorandum handed to the Prime Minister by the Japanese government at the recent G20 Summit should make sobering reading. 

This memo outlined the serious concerns of Japanese businesses that operate in the UK. They expect Britain to maintain access to the single market, or something very close to it, after leaving the EU.

Whatever your view on the Brexit vote, we simply cannot dismiss the legitimate concerns of companies that invest so much in our economy. In 2015, nearly half of direct EU investment from Japan went to the UK, and Japanese businesses operating in Europe have created 440,000 jobs. 

Japanese companies like Nissan are absolutely critical to the economic prosperity of our region. It is a source of real pride that Nissan recently celebrated thirty years on Wearside - but I want to make sure we see another thirty. The thousands of jobs that are dependent on Nissan and others could be under threat unless the government offers reassurance that its vision for Brexit includes unfettered access to the single market. Workers also need guarantees that hard-fought rights will be protected - not a race to the bottom. 

This is not about questioning the outcome of the Brexit vote, but about pressing the government to provide British-based businesses with the guarantees they seek, and quickly. Since the result was declared, the contradictory messages emerging from the Prime Minister and her Cabinet illustrate that there is no agreed plan for Brexit. Platitudes such as ‘Brexit means Brexit’ are not good enough – our global partners need to know now exactly what Brexit means. If not, it is clear that Japanese businesses will think twice about remaining in the UK. That would be disastrous for the north east. 

 

This article was originally published by the Sunderland Echo on 15th September 2016. You can read the online version here.

Bridget Phillipson MP: North east needs clarity on Brexit now

More than two months have passed since the UK voted to leave the European Union and the promises made by the Leave campaign before the referendum are unravelling thick and...

Bridget_Phillipson_MP_wear_it_pink_Breast_Cancer_Now_Sep_2016_for_web.jpgTo promote Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink campaign on Friday 21 October, Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has shown support for women affected by breast cancer by wearing something pink.

The campaign calls on supporters across the country to dress in pink for the day and raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research. 

Bridget Phillipson joined fellow parliamentarians in Westminster to encourage people across the UK to get involved and help Breast Cancer Now achieve their ambition that everyone who develops the disease by the year 2050 will survive.

The campaign raises close to £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer. Anyone can take part by wearing something pink and donating whatever they can.

Bridget Phillipson MP said:

“50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, and sadly around 11,500 women and 80 men will lose their lives to the disease.

“Breast Cancer Now are tackling the disease from all angles to ensure that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live. Wear it pink is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

“I am very proud to take part in this campaign and fully committed to standing up for the women and families affected by the disease in the north east. I hope everyone in the local community will join me on Friday 21 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now said:

“It’s wonderful to see so much parliamentary support for wear it pink. It’s a great opportunity for friends, co-workers and families across the UK to have some fun, wear something pink and show their support for those affected by breast cancer.

“Far too many women are still losing their lives to this dreadful disease. On Friday 21 October, every cake baked, every feather boa or pink tie worn and every laugh shared will help us create a future where no one dies from breast cancer.

“We will all be standing together, with colleagues and friends, to stop breast cancer taking the lives of the people we love – and we very much hope you’ll join us.”

Bridget Phillipson MP stands out in pink for families affected by breast cancer

To promote Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink campaign on Friday 21 October, Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has shown support for women affected by...

Bridget_Phillipson_MP_Defence_OQ_12_Sep_2016.jpgRecent research showed that the government’s proposed funding plan for apprenticeships from 2017 will cut funding rate by almost a third for 16 to 18-year-old apprentices. I am deeply concerned about the obstacles this will put in front of young people, the damage this will do to our economy, and the extra costs the taxpayer will have to bear in the long run.

Construction is an area of particular concern. Young apprentices in this sector will face a cut in funding rate by between 27 to 50 per cent. 

The funding cuts to apprenticeships will also hit young people in deprived areas the most. Tory claims of meritocracy are no more than empty rhetoric. 

I know how important high-quality apprenticeships are for young people in our area and for businesses too. I previously had the pleasure of meeting Stephen, a local apprentice with Carillion, who visited Westminster in July this year and shared with me how he gained the skills he needed through the programme.

At my last business breakfast with local small businesses, many raised with me that a skilled workforce was one of the most important concerns for them, and that there have not been enough high-quality apprenticeship programmes in the region to provide that. 

On Monday 12 September 2016 at Defence Questions in parliament, I urged the Defence Minister to guarantee that apprenticeship funding will be protected.

I will continue to work with my union, GMB, to oppose these regressive and unfair cuts to the funding that our country’s young people deserve.

David Hulse, GMB National Officer said:

‘It is great to see MPs like Bridget Phillipson raising these important issues in parliament, major defence projects like building three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships should be seen as a fantastic opportunity to promote quality apprenticeships.

‘We should be investing in the shipbuilders of the future and help our industries grow by creating more skilled work, but the future of industries like shipbuilding are threatened if this government continues with its plans to cut funding for apprenticeships.’

Bridget Phillipson MP: reality on apprenticeships reverse of Tory claims

Recent research showed that the government’s proposed funding plan for apprenticeships from 2017 will cut funding rate by almost a third for 16 to 18-year-old apprentices. I am deeply concerned...


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