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Business tells Ministers what it wants from Brexit

Posted on 30 November 2016

Shaping a Great Future documentA strong delegation of business leaders from the East Midlands went to Westminster yesterday (29 November) to tell MPs what they want from Government as it negotiates Britain’s exit from the EU.

They joined the Chamber in the heart of Government to deliver core messages derived from the State of the Economy conference held in Derby earlier this month (November).

The Chamber used the event to unveil an eight-page report – Shaping a Great Future for the East Midlands: Leading Balanced and Sustainable Growth in a Post-Brexit Economy – which sets out what regional business wants from the Brexit process to ensure Britain prospers after it leaves the European Union.

The Chamber has said since the result of the EU Referendum that business, the creator of jobs and wealth and driver of the regional and national economy, should play an important role in exit negotiations.

In addition to Brexit, the report also features business wishes in respect of devolution and sets out a vision for ‘growing the UK from the East Midlands’ in terms of infrastructure, broadband and access to skills and productivity growth.

Scott Knowles, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, said: “Getting the right messages into Westminster, and making sure our regional MPs are all attuned to needs of the local business community, are vital to making sure that Britain prospers in a post-Brexit global economy.

“Taking a strong contingent of local business leaders to the heart of Government to deliver their message to MPs gave a very clear indication of just how strongly they want to be involved in all negotiations and decisions that will impact them and ultimately affect their ability to be the creators of jobs and wealth and drivers of the regional and national economy.

“Although Brexit features strongly in their concerns, the process of shaping a great future for the East Midlands extends far wider and includes devolution, closing the skills gap and making sure the region is not overlooked by Government when it comes to future investment.”

Alberto Costa, Conservative MP for South Leicestershire, and Chris Leslie, Labour MP for Nottingham East, jointly sponsored the event.

Alberto told the gathering: “With my hand on my heart I can say that the East Midlands is the best place to live in Britain.”

He said that with Brexit and devolution “great opportunities lie ahead”.

“Events like this are incredibly important to MPs,” he said, paying tribute to the Chamber for arranging it.

He added: “This is an incredibly important point in time for business, for MPs and for our nation for its position in the world. We need you [businesses] and your views and your assistance to help this country move smoothly out of the group of nations known as the European Union.”

He said continued investment in infrastructure was vital “to retain our competitive advantage” and to “make sure we are not left behind”.

Chris said it was important to emphasise the “unique selling points of the East Midlands” such as “fantastic transport links, East Midlands Airport, north/south road and rail links” and said “we are well placed as a region to cope with the challenges ahead.”

He said that regardless of how people voted in the EU Referendum there is “quite a degree of cross-party agreement that we want to work together to make sure the East Midlands does well out of the Brexit negotiations”.

Scott Knowles told the delegates and Ministers at the event: “Clearly, the Chamber will be working closely with regional MPs with regards the key messages in the document you are now all holding.”

He added: “We need to secure the best possible outcome for our region and for the country as a whole.”

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Notes to Editors:
1. The event was held in Dining Room A, the Palace of Westminster, 4pm-6pm on Tuesday 29 November.
2. Among MPs attending were:
Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire (co-sponsor))
Chris Leslie (Nottingham East (co-sponsor))
Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire)
Sir Edward Garnier (Harborough, Oadby & Wigston)
Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)
Nicky Morgan (Loughborough)
Maggie Throup (Erewash)
Andrew Bingham (High Peak)
Heather Wheeler (South Derbyshire)
Margaret Beckett (Derby South)
Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)
Vernon Coaker (Gedling)
Sir Alan Meale (Mansfield)
Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire)
3. Companies included:
Bombardier (Derby)
BPI Recycling (Heanor)
Challenge Training and Consultancy (Nottingham)
East Midlands Airport
East Midlands Trains
Eversheds (Nottingham)
Fairgrove Homes (Ilkeston)
Igas Energy (London)
JA Kapasi and Co (Leicester)
London Stock Exchange
Loughborough University
Marketing Derby
Midlands Group Business Advisers
Moneynotion (Derby)
Morningside Pharmaceuticals (Loughborough)
North Midlands Construction (South Normanton)
Nottingham Trent University
Oxalis Planning (Stratford on Avon)
Rolls-Royce
Royal Institute of British Architects
Tarmac Services (Syston)
Toyota Manufacturing UK (Burnaston)
Turner and Townsend
University of Derby
Wellglade (Dronfield)
Stuart Dawkins (Leicester)

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