Time is running out for the Government to give some clarity on Brexit – and they still don’t have any answers. With little more than a year until the UK leaves the EU, companies in Bristol are seriously worried about the future. Today I asked Steve Baker, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, how the government plans to safeguard jobs in Bristol’s aerospace industry. The non-answer I received shows how unprepared this government is.
THANGAM: Thank you Mr Speaker. If the Secretary of State won’t consider the Customs Union, what specific support will he give to the aerospace sector that employs so many people in Bristol?
PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY, DExEU: Mr Speaker, I’ve got good news for the Honourable Lady, and that is that both sides have agreed in principle that we should have a free trade agreement covering all sectors with zero tariffs. And we believe that with a good quality customs agreement we can achieve a near-frictionless trade, and I believe that these things taken together mean that our manufacturing industries, including aerospace, will have an ever-brighter future.