The Labour Party has this week promised to put trade and exports high on its agenda should it win the next general election.
On top of Sir Kier Starmer’s announcement yesterday that he would “make Brexit work”, the shadow international trade secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, announced a “nationwide network of climate export hubs” at Labour's annual conference in Liverpool.
He also pledged to make sure that any trade deals done under a Labour government would include strict commitments to regional investment.
Making Brexit work
“The next Labour government will establish firm rules to ensure that trade negotiators have binding responsibilities to help deliver economic opportunities across the whole of the UK,” he said.
“For every new trade deal Labour negotiates – we will do everything possible to ensure that it will work for communities, livelihoods and businesses nationwide.”
He cited official figures showing that exporters are currently heavily concentrated in just a few areas.
“We can’t go on with a situation where only 1.4% of exporters are from the North East and less than 5% from the East Midlands,” he said.
Plans for Northern Ireland
Elsewhere from the conference The Belfast Telegraph reports that the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Kyle, pledged that Labour would deliver “rapid deals” with the EU on trade issues linked with Northern Ireland.
Kyle added that while there are problems with the current NI protocol, these could best be resolved through negotiation.
Network of climate export hubsIn his speech to Conference, Thomas-Symonds set out plans to grow exports of British green technology through a network of climate export hubs.
“The hubs will work with businesses, universities and other innovators, to take UK climate science innovations and export them to the world. These would be export hubs to support every region in the country, helping to create skilled jobs and opportunities nationwide,” he said.