Anneliese Dodds, Labour MP for Oxford East, today welcomed commitments from the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, that avoiding disruption to complex supply chains and remaining part of Euratom would be at the top of Labour’s agenda.
In a speech in Coventry today, Mr Corbyn explicitly referred to the case of the production of the Mini car, with its parts crossing the Channel at least three times, as a reason why Labour supported remaining a member of a customs union with the EU27. He described the Mini as ‘iconic’ and dependent on a ‘frictionless, interwoven’ supply chain which both started and ended in Oxford.
Mr Corbyn also singled out the need for Britain to remain a member of Euratom- which is essential for the future of nuclear research, especially at the only place in the world where nuclear fusion has ever been achieved- the Culham Centre for Nuclear Fusion.
As a member of Labour’s Shadow Treasury team, Anneliese has been a member of the committee considering the government’s approach to customs arrangements, and has frequently taken the government to task on customs matters in the House of Commons. In fact, Anneliese has spoken in parliament no less than 65 times over the last four months on the topic of customs arrangements.
“As one of the Shadow Ministers dealing with customs issues, I’ve been really disturbed to see our government apparently willing to leave the EU without any deal, which could lead to a massive increase in tariffs and huge amounts of additional bureaucracy.
If Mini components have to go through cumbersome international customs arrangements each of the three times they cross the Channel before the vehicle is completed here in Cowley, that would massively slow down production.
I have consistently argued that the government should not be ruling out remaining in a customs union with the EU and it is really good to see the Labour leader spelling this out so clearly today.
I was also pleased to hear Jeremy’s commitment to remain in Euratom. In all the campaigning I did on the European referendum, I did not meet a single person, anywhere, who objected to our membership of Euratom. It is a no-brainer for us to continue to cooperate with European countries on nuclear research and safety and again I’m pleased to see Jeremy prioritising this today”.