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Sir Ian Wood: Theresa May’s Brexit deal would make UK better off

Monday December 3rd 2018 at 8:45 AM

Sir Ian Wood says the North-east economy would be insulated by the prime minister’s EU withdrawal deal and that it would leave the country in a better spot than as a member of the EU.

The oil tycoon warns the real danger lies in no agreement.

Sir Ian said:”A no deal outcome will damage everything.

“I think it would only last for a short period of time, but it would damage most businesses.

“Generally, a Brexit deal like it’s now on the table – I think the UK is in a better position than it was as a member of the EU.

“I think the North-east of Scotland, to some extent, has its own economy. I don’t think Oil and Gas will be adversely affected significantly.

“No-deal would damage things like food, drink, agriculture and fishing, who do a lot of exporting – so there would be a great deal of uncertainty there.”

Sir Ian spoke to Original 106 three years on from the formation of Opportunity North East, the private sector body he chairs, which was started to develop economic diversification in the region in food, drink, agriculture, life sciences, tourism, digital and entrepreneurship and making the most of oil, gas, and energy in the North Sea and beyond.

Since then, it’s worked with 500 companies, put in £13.8 million to various projects which has prompted match-funding of £30.6 million , and played a role in securing £210 million in the City Region Deal.

Last week, the head of the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation, Bertie Armstrong, called for cross-party support from the Scottish political parties to clarify their position on exiting the Common Fisheries Policy – also backing Theresa May’s plan.

The Scottish Government have criticised the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal as one that “sells out” Scottish fishermen, committing to fight the process in both Holyrood and Westminster.

The First Minister is in London today meeting with opposition parties to discuss their plans to do that.

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