Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, will this week be delivering Norwich’s feedback ahead of the next round of Brexit Negotiations.
Chloe has held a series of Brexit roundtables with key Norwich industries and stakeholders, to gather information on how Brexit might impact Norwich and to underline the importance of bringing more good jobs back to the city. Chloe met with the Science Sector, the Digital Technology Sector and the Retail Sector.
The Science Sector roundtable included participants from Norwich Research Park, John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Institute, Quadram, The Earlham Institute, University of East Anglia, Agritech East, NovaGraff and the Norfolk & Suffolk LEP.
Life sciences is a very important sector in our region – according to the Government’s own analysis the East of England is the second biggest contributor in the country both in terms of employment and turnover. Chloe is encouraging the Government to support Norwich to stay world class in science.
The Digital Technology Sector roundtable was held with representatives from the digital tech sector. Attendees were from Norwich University of the Arts, University of East Anglia, WhiteSpace, Assemble, Thyngs, Tin Can Digital, Purple Digital, Lambda Film, Hot Source and Norwich City Council investment team.
The Creative Industries are characterised by a large number of very small enterprises with 89% having fewer than five employees. Chloe’s aim is to help Norwich stay a fast growing Tech City with 7,500 digital and creative jobs. Chloe is emphasising the importance that these businesses continue to grow as we leave the EU with new and exciting opportunities at home and abroad.
The Retail Sector roundtable included representatives from Intu Chapelfield, Castle Mall Shopping Centre, Jarrolds, Norwich BID, House of Fraser and other high street retailers.
The retail industry in Norwich employs a large number of people, with Javelin Group’s Venuescore in 2017 ranking Norwich as 13th top destination around the UK for shopping.
Chloe will be delivering feedback from each of these roundtable meetings to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, this week so he is well informed of the needs for Norwich ahead of his discussions with his EU counterparts.
Feedback has included the need for certainty as early as possible in the Brexit process on key areas including freedom of movement, trade and import costs and taxation. The Government has already shown a commitment to allowing the very best talent from all over the world to come to the UK to live and work. Crucially, it has begun the important work of legislating to make sure the UK is ready to trade freely with its partners across the world once we have departed the EU. These steps will allow businesses in Norwich to employ the very best people and sell their products and services around the world as well as within the whole of the UK.
Chloe comments: “I’ve always worked very closely with Norwich’s business community and taken a keen interest in the city’s most important sectors. I have listened to their concerns and will take these matters back to Parliament. Leaving the EU could have a variety of impacts on the city’s key sectors, and this matters to most people in the city one way or another. I want to see a Brexit deal that makes our economy even stronger, makes it easy for businesses to create jobs in our city, and helps people to prosper in their daily lives. Norwich is a great city with several important employment sectors so this is about supporting jobs. I’m making sure the Norwich economy has the chance to have its say through me to Brexit Ministers in this really important year when the Brexit deal is being negotiated.”