News story

Brexit Minister visits businesses in Greater Manchester

David Jones has visited a number of businesses across Greater Manchester to listen to their views ahead of Brexit negotiations

David Jones at The Landing

David Jones, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the EU, has met with senior business leaders in Greater Manchester to get their views ahead of negotiations to leave the EU.

During yesterday’s visit, the Minister attended a roundtable at the Manchester Growth Company, chaired by CEO Mark Hughes, giving him an opportunity to listen to the views of various business leaders across the city.

During the roundtable, he underlined how the decision taken by the people to leave the EU will enable the region to seize new opportunities and made it clear that the Government is confident of getting a good deal for Britain that makes the most of the new freedoms Brexit will afford us.

During the day, The Minister also visited:

  • Manchester Airport: He was given a tour of the airport whose 10 year investment programme worth £1 billion will transform the gateway and enable it to play an even stronger global role.
  • Airport City: The Minister met with senior figures from Airport City which is an example of the region’s success in attracting global inward investment. It is the first infrastructure project produced in partnership with China since the signing of a memorandum of understanding on infrastructure cooperation in 2011.
  • MediaCityUK: A joint venture between Peel Media and Legal and General Capital, this innovative creative hub houses over 250 innovative businesses including, BBC North, ITV, Coronation Street, SIS LIVE, and the University of Salford.
  • The Landing: MediaCityUK’s innovation and enterprise hub, housing over 120 micro-businesses, start-ups and scale-ups, where the Minister met with digital, technology and creative media SMEs.
  • Daresbury Laboratory: A world leading facility in Cheshire for scientific research run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. It is part of Sci-Tech Daresbury, one of two national science and innovation campuses, which supports scientists, researchers and industry by providing a collaborative and innovative environment to perform cutting-edge research.

Minister of State for Exiting the European Union David Jones said:

The country voted to leave the EU and we need to seize the huge and exciting opportunities that will flow from Britain’s new place in the world.

We are determined to make sure that the UK remains the best place in Europe to own and grow a business and that we’re a country that truly works for everybody, not just the privileged few.

Manchester is in a strong position, generating £56 billion to the economy each year. But we need a dialogue about both the challenges and opportunities that leaving the EU possess, and that’s why I’m listening to the views of firms in Manchester and right across the country to ensure our new relationship with the EU works for business.

Mark Hughes, CEO of the Manchester Growth Company and chair of the Manchester roundtable said:

Following the EU Referendum result it is critical the voice of Greater Manchester’s businesses is heard. Our economy is currently performing strongly and a large part of this is due to our confident global outlook. We need to ensure this continues, both by seizing the opportunities that leaving the European Union presents us and foreseeing and addressing potential challenges. These include areas such as skills, employment, trade and investment.

We therefore welcome this opportunity to host this roundtable and share our views with the Government. We will be continuing work to get the best deal possible to secure jobs, growth and prosperity for the people and businesses of Greater Manchester.

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said:

We welcome the Minister’s visit and his recognition of the critical importance of international air transport connectivity to driving growth in the North. His commitment to ensuring the UK remains globally competitive in a post-Brexit environment is encouraging, with Manchester Airport set to become even more important to supporting UK growth given the likely 10-15 year timetable for any new aviation capacity to be delivered in the South East.

Manchester Airport as a business is well placed to respond to any adverse consequences that may be felt by the UK economy following the country’s decision to leave the EU. As the process to leave commences, and progress continues on our £1 billion transformation programme, we will work closely with the UK Government to ensure that our customers do not feel any detrimental effect.

Jon Corner, CEO of The Landing said:

It was great that some of the businesses based here at The Landing got the chance to meet with the Minister today to talk about what a post-EU future could look like. The visit was very valuable to the whole team as we have a remit to support start-ups and SMEs from across the whole of the North West, many of who also have ambitions to rapidly scale-up internationally and access new markets.

The visit was part of an ongoing series of engagements with organisations, companies and institutions across the UK in order to build a national consensus around our negotiating position. This includes understanding how EU legislation affects each sector and what risks and opportunities people see as the UK exits the EU.

Published 7 October 2016