Words by Ed King
As MPs across the country prepare to vote on the Brexit trade deal, Erdington’s top politicians both agree that a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU) would be disastrous for local industry.
Crossing the aisle in support of the UK’s business community, MP for Erdington Jack Dromey (Labour) and Erdington ward Councillor Robert Alden (Conservative) agree that the current deal, recently secured by Boris Johnson, is the best way to see in the New Year.
Although still divided by party lines, Erdington’s red and blue leaders have come out in public support of the offer negotiated from Brussels – urging the potential rebels in Westminster to push forward and vote ‘yes’ in the House of Commons on 30th December.
Jack Dromey MP for Erdington said: “We are now left with a very clear choice – the deal that has been agreed or a no deal Brexit.
“Throughout the Brexit process, I have been in intensive dialogue with leading figures from across the world of work. On the eve of the historic Brexit vote, their message is clear – vote for the deal or risk plunging British manufacturing into an unprecedented crisis.”
Quick to recognise the Prime Minister’s role in securing a deal, a diplomatic achievement many thought impossible, Cllr Alden – who is also leader of the Birmingham Conservatives – told Erdington Local:
“With Boris Johnson securing the deal others said he could not and Keir Starmer announcing Labour would vote for the deal without having seen it, Brexit is finally set to be delivered.
“All the wards in Erdington voted to leave the EU and Boris Johnson has delivered the wishes of Erdington constituency, despite repeated attempts by Labour MP’s and others to prevent the will of the people being enacted.
“What is vital now is to maximise the opportunities Brexit can offer the country and our region: the chance to strike trade deals across the world, to control our borders, to deliver world leading environmental protections, and locally the opportunity to use trade deals to regenerate our economy and deliver well paid jobs for local residents, lifting the average wage of Birmingham residents.
Cllr Alden, who holds the Erdington ward office along with Cllr Gareth Moore, further recognised the potential growth on the horizon if the trade agreement successfully passes.
He added: “The freedoms the deal provides the country need to be used to provide investment into a gigafactory and the car industry, to support jobs in Jaguar/Land Rover and the supply chain, allowing them to modernise and grow.
“I urge the Government to ignore the City Council, who voted for gigafactories to be built in other regions instead, and to invest in Birmingham.”
MP for an area that voted to leave the EU in the June 2016 referendum, Jack Dromey has perhaps more friction within his party than in his constituency – with many Labour MPs urging Sir Keir Starmer to stymy the Johnson secured deal.
He added: “Since the British people decided that we were to leave the European Union in 2016, I have been unequivocal that a no deal Brexit would be a betrayal of the British national interest.
“This deal is far from perfect, and there are many aspects that we need to build upon at the next stages. But the alternative, a no deal and trading on WTO terms, would be a disaster for Britain’s manufacturing industry.
“So, I would urge all Members of Parliament to listen to the workers voice and vote for the Brexit deal. British manufacturing is counting on it.”
MPs will gather in the House of Commons to vote on the Brexit deal on 30th December, having been recalled from their winter break for the historic trade agreement.
Debates will start at 9:30am and are expected to continue until the afternoon, after which the bill will be moved to the House of Lords.
If successful, the Brexit trade deal could receive royal assent by morning on New Year’s Eve 2020.
For more on Brexit/Britain’s exit from the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/transition