Created: 09 March 2018
Trade Envoy Meetings
This week, Andrew had another round of meetings with a cross-party delegation of Parliamentarians from the House of Commons and Senate of Canada. The Parliamentary Group aims to broaden the traditional bilateral ties between Canada and the UK through a more modern and dynamic relationship. Their visit to London was focused on Trade and Brexit.
Later in the week, Andrew hosted the Canadian Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Scheer MP, in Parliament for a dinner meeting along with his colleagues. Andrew also joined Mr Scheer for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street.
Andrew said, "I've been very busy doing a lot of work this week as the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Canada. This is the unpaid role I accepted when I decided to quit as a Minister (and willingly give up my Ministerial salary!). I'm still sure it was the right call!
"This week I met with several visiting politicians from Canada, including the Leader of the Opposition who I also accompanied to a meeting with our Prime Minister at Number 10. The aim of this role is to increase trade and investment (jobs in other words) between our two countries. Post-Brexit, there is a lot of goodwill cross-party for a trade deal between the UK and Canada.
"That is obviously good news for the UK, but also for our area. A lot of folks probably don't realise how many jobs in our area are supported by trade with Canada or Canadian investment. Our ports locally are in large part owned by Canadian pension funds, who also own some local energy installations. Drax power station's ability to operate relies on biomass from Canada which supports jobs on our railways and at our local ports.
"Having lived and worked in Canada in the past, I know just how much goodwill there is to this country, and my job as Trade Envoy is to build on that to secure more investment from Canada in the UK, and also help to support our companies secure new business in Canada.
"Haven't really posted much about this role on here before but I thought residents might be interested in one of the areas of policy I spend time working on down at Westminster."
Question in the House of Commons Chamber
Also this week, Andrew had an opportunity to speak on the recent Siemens announcement during a question period following the Prime Minister's statement on the UK's future economic partnership with the European Union. Andrew also mentioned the value of the economy of the north and asked the Prime Minister to look out for the interests of the north when negotiating for Brexit.
You can read the full question and the Prime Minister’s response below, or watch the debate online here: https://goo.gl/ihcEhz
Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con)
"Last week, Siemens announced a £200-million investment that will create 700 jobs in Goole. That proves the value of the economy of the north, so as the Prime Minister negotiates for Brexit, as well as obviously looking out for the interests of Northern Ireland, the City and Scotland, will she look out for the interests of the north? That requires approaching this process with flexibility, but it also means standing up for the voters of the north, who voted in huge numbers to leave, and who, and since the referendum, have been patronised and insulted as being too thick, too northern or too racist."
The Prime Minister
"The aim is to ensure that when we leave the European Union, we have a result that is good for the whole of the United Kingdom—not just Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the whole of England, including the north. My hon. Friend is absolutely right that voters in the north of England voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU. This Parliament gave them that vote; it gave the people of the United Kingdom that vote, and it is right that we as politicians deliver on that, rather than talking, as the Liberal Democrats do, about a second referendum. The Labour party, too, will not rule out a second referendum. It should be listening to the people and giving them what they voted for."