Blog: Protesters take ‘no-deal’ Brexit fight to Parliament as fears for Nissan and De La Rue jobs grow – Chronicle Live

A protest was held outside the gates of Parliament today urging the Government to extend the Brexit transition period.

The group of protesters said they were concerned the country was heading into a no-deal Brexit scenario which they fear will cripple the North East’s economy.

It follows news that more than 250 jobs were at risk at Gateshead’s De La Rue firm and Nissan revealing 248 temporary staff at the factory are being cut in various departments.

De La Rue announced plans to axe the site’s banknote and UK passport printing operations – two years after it lost the contract to print the new UK passports, having printed them for 10 years.

Nissan also previously said that the Sunderland plant would be “unsustainable” without a trade deal.

Earlier today (June 24), concerned residents gathered outside the gates of Parliament with banners like ‘No Deal = No Nissan’, ‘Don’t Drive Nissan Away’ and ‘Auf Wiedersehen Plant’ in a bid to get their message across.

They claimed the government had a “London-centric” approached and promised to take the ensure their promise to help the region is fulfilled.

A spokesperson for the group, Louise Brown, said: “As someone who grew up around the corner from the Nissan factory in Sunderland, I know just how important it is to the region.

“With the news that the plant is not sustainable in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is beyond comprehension that this government are not going to ask for an extension to the transition period.

“This increases the risk of a no-deal Brexit and thus Nissan leaving our region, taking its 7,000 jobs with it (and thousands more if you include the supply chain).

Louise Brown protesting

“Whichever way you voted in the EU referendum; it was probably not for this scenario. In the middle of a pandemic and economic and jobs crisis, it is utter madness not to extend to prevent such a no-deal scenario.

“The people of the North East remember the depression and the days of mass unemployment when the pits were closed. We are fighting for ourselves, our family’s friends and wider communities – our voice must be heard.”

The group have protested over the last two weeks and have been previously gathered at the Nissan Plant in Sunderland and at the Angel of the North where the recent issues from Nissan and De La Rue were highlighted.

Prior to lockdown, the North East had the highest unemployment rate in the UK and the group fear there could be a “tsunami wave” of job losses in the coming weeks and months.

With the potential of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of a no-deal Brexit the group claimed it’s vital the voice of the North East is firmly heard.

Peter Benson, an organiser of the protest at Parliament says: “Government estimates suggest a 16 per cent decline in the North East’s economy in the event of a no-deal scenario. That’s close to ten Nissan plants closing.

“With that prospect looming at the end of the year when the national and local economy will be in a very weak state, its total madness to plunge the UK into a very deep and extended recession

“With so much regional and demographic inequality the need for sustained economic recovery is needed now more than ever.

“While security may be the key priority of any government the health and wellbeing of a nation are of equal importance.

“With the widely acknowledged failures of the government in the handling of this pandemic, we feel the sole priority of government at the moment should be focused on recovery from the pandemic and managing any second wave.

“The time for great leadership is now we must eliminate the potential of a no-deal Brexit by deferring the talks now.”

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