Last week a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling opened the door on the United States of America imposing tariffs on Airbus and other goods coming from the UK. These tariffs are expected to hit us to the tune of $7.5 billion.
Airbus directly employs around 13,500 jobs and an additional 110,000 jobs are linked via supply chains. The United States use of the WTO to restrict free trade is deeply concerning.
Free trade makes us all better off and these new tariffs will also harm the US. Indeed, Airbus employs (directly and indirectly) 275,000 in the United States. Yet again President Donald Trump has decided to pursue a trade war instead of pursuing wealth for all countries.
I asked the new trade minister what action he has taken. He said he has spoken with the other industries hit by these new tariffs and will be talking with the US Ambassador to the UK. We can’t afford to waste any time if we are to end this trade war. The UK Government need to act quickly and decisively if we are to reinstate free trade for one of the biggest employers in Flintshire.
Today marked the first time the new Prime Minister was tested in the Commons. Boris Johnson MP has now completed the creation of his cabinet and it is the most right wing government I have seen in over 30 years. He has appointed a Home Secretary who supports the death penalty, a Foreign Secretary who has called feminists obnoxious bigots and a Housing Minister who doesn’t believe that children should learn about LGBT+ relationships. But the one thing that unites this grisly cabinet is that they all want a no deal Brexit.
That is why I asked the new Prime Minister if, instead of bluff and bluster, he could tell the Commons what the tariffs would be on sheep meat, planes and cars in the event of no deal. I was hoping that the Prime Minister would live up to the seriousness of his new job and provide detailed answers so we could have an informed debate. Instead, the bluff and bluster returned. We were told we just needed to trust in him and believe that it will all turn out alright in the end.
This is a worrying example of a man who is more persuaded by his own ego than everyone else. When we look back at all the Prime Ministers of the past they took decisions because they thought them to be in the national interest. I fear that the only interest our new Prime Minister cares about is his own.
I have joined over 200 MPs from across the House of Commons, including leave and remain supporting Members, in writing to the Prime Minister to call on her to rule out a no deal (sometimes called World Trade Organisation [WTO]) Brexit.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, the cross-party group of MPs states that:
Leaving the EU without a deal would cause unnecessary economic damage. Trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms would instantly make our manufacturers less competitive and make it very difficult for the industry to justify producing goods in the UK for export. Leaving without a deal would make continued investment in UK manufacturing a real challenge for global firms, when they have plants in other European locations. Without continued investment and confidence in the UK manufacturing sector, thousands of jobs across the country will be put at immediate risk. Read more “No Deal Brexit”