Plymouth Brexit Summit series continues
Luke Pollard MP hosted the next two events in the Brexit Summit series at City College Plymouth on Sunday. This was an opportunity for the people of Plymouth to tell their MPs what they think a good Brexit deal for Plymouth looks like.
The morning was a special session for 15-25 year olds Luke was joined by Mike Jarman from The Zone, Nicola Chesney from the Plymouth University Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats’ Youth and Student Officer, Connor Clarke.
Connor Clarke speaking for the Liberal Democrats said: “It’s really important our MPs make a commitment for Britain to stay in the single market and customs union to protect our jobs and provide an economic backbone for this country once we leave the EU.”
Local Conservative activist, Nicola Cheney said “It’s been really interesting today to see how the youth view Brexit and what they want from Brexit for Plymouth.”
There was a mix of young people from across the city discussing the range of areas impacted by Brexit, from education to health, from travel to rights at work which will be incorporated into Luke’s Brexit Asks document.
In the afternoon, Luke hosted his third and final Brexit summit event opening up to the general public, Luke was joined by George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Devon Chamber of Commerce, Councillor Tudor Evans OBE and Clare Moody MEP.
George Cowcher said “Brexit uncertainty is the great challenge facing key employers in the city. It is therefore essential that we send a clear message about what we want in a post-Brexit world. This has been a welcome discussion in identifying priorities.”
Clare Moody said “Events like today’s are really important – identifying issues that Plymouth is facing as a consequence of Brexit. As an MEP I will do what I can to protect the interests of the citizens of this city but there is so much more we need the Westminster government to be doing and they don’t have a track record of delivering for the south west.”
Cllr Tudor Evans said “Local councils are the backbone of economic development in this country. They create the framework for prosperity that wealth creators need. The funding decline in local government needs to be halted, budgets repaired and the economy ready to move upwards again.”
The participants contributed to the Brexit asks in groups led by Penny Tarrant from Food Plymouth, former head teacher Brian Mathieson. Councillor Ian Tuffin, Jackie Young from Environment Plymouth and Matt Roberts from GMB.
Luke Pollard MP said “18 months on from the EU referendum and the detail of Brexit still isn’t that much clearer. That’s why I wanted to get into the detail of what a good Brexit deal for Plymouth looks like. I want a deal that will help not hurt our city and that’s why we need to get into the detail of Brexit and not simply replay soundbites from the referendum. Today’s events were hugely useful in helping finalise the city’s Brexit asks and I will be using many of the examples I heard today in Westminster to make the case for a good deal for Plymouth.”
The Brexit Ask document will be published in the next few weeks and Luke will use this as the Brexit Bill makes its way through Parliament to fight for the deal Plymouth needs from Government.