Earlier this week I met with Tony Reilly and Gary Andrews, who work at the Rolls-Royce plant in Washington and also serve as Unite shop stewards.

We had a good discussion about the challenges facing manufacturing, and around the particular challenges Brexit poses if there is an end to frictionless trade. This would create real problems for Rolls-Royce and similar companies, which have complex supply chains where parts move multiple times between the rest of Europe and the UK.

Companies like Rolls-Royce and businesses in the supply chain are a huge asset to our community, helping to create many local opportunities. In the crucial days ahead, what will be at the forefront of my mind is ensuring these vital jobs stay on Wearside, so local people can benefit for generations to come.

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