We have secured an unprecedented free trade agreement with the European Union—the first free trade agreement that the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas. Across sectors and regions, it is a good deal that will protect jobs and investment.
The assessment conducted by the Treasury in 2018 concluded that there would be significant regional variation in the impact of any Brexit deal. We are certainly seeing that, with fishing fleets grounded, manufacturers hit with extra costs, and the Department for International Trade apparently advising businesses to move parts of their operation to the EU to avoid problems. It is clear that there will be a significant regional impact. Does the Chancellor agree that he needs to redress that regional damage from the Brexit deal? Alternatively, does he agree with the new Business Secretary’s comments in “Britannia Unchained” that regional division is an “irrelevant” debate?
No one can doubt the Government’s commitment to uniting and levelling up across our United Kingdom, with an unprecedented infrastructure investment programme. Notably in the spending review, we announced something called the levelling-up fund, which will fund the infrastructure of everyday life in communities up and down the country, on top of our once-in-a-generation increase in infrastructure investment in road, rail and broadband that will benefit equally all parts of our United Kingdom.