MP backs customs union motion to protect 10,000 Portsmouth jobs

Stephen Morgan was in the House today in support of cross-party motion to negotiate comprehensive UK-EU customs deal

Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, was present in the House of Commons today to back a motion in favour of a motion, supported by Conservative and Labour backbenchers, to press the Government to negotiate arrangements for a customs union with the European Union.

In January 2018, in a speech to Mansion House, the Prime Minister explicitly ruled out a UK-EU customs union following Brexit. Instead, suggesting that the negotiation could have a looser ‘customs arrangement’.

The manufacturing industry is worth £785 million each year to Portsmouth and supports over 10,000 jobs in the city.

The Aerospace, Defence, and Security group, the trade organisation representing the defence industry have said, ‘a customs union with the EU is a practical solution that would put businesses in the best possible position to compete after Brexit. We welcome the position set out by the Leader of the Opposition that Labour will support a customs union with the EU and stay in important EU agencies’.

Labour’s commitment to the Customs Union has also been praised by the CBI, who said, ‘a customs union will put jobs and living standards first by remaining in a close economic relationship with the EU…This evidence cannot be ignored. To do so would create barriers where there are none, risking prosperity and future living standards.’

Today’s debate came on the back of several successive defeats for the Government on the EU Withdrawal Bill in the House of Lords, including on making the negotiation of a customs union a primary objective of the Government.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

The Government’s ruling out of a customs union is shockingly irresponsible, and shows once again the Tories are willing to put party before country.

Industry groups and businesses have made it clear that a customs union is the only way to protect manufacturing jobs.

As MP, it my duty to put local jobs first.’