Leaving single market would have devastating impact on Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol, says MEP

Three cities in the South West top the list of cities exporting to the EU and would receive a devastating blow if the UK leaves the single market, the region’s Green MEP has warned. Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol are the top three cities in the UK when it comes to exporting to the EU.

A new report reveals that the EU is the largest export market for every city in Britain, with the sole exception of Hull, and South West cities top the list [1]. Exeter’s exports were the most dependent on the EU, with 70 per cent going to EU countries, closely followed by Plymouth (68%) and Bristol (66%). Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, said:

“This report reveals the devastating impact leaving the single market would have on three of the largest cities in the South West. The report shows that across the UK our exports to the EU are three times larger than the USA and 11 times larger than China. But for Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol, exiting the single market would be particularly damaging as these three cities export a greater proportion of their exports to the EU than any other cities in the UK.

“It beggars belief that Theresa May is touring the globe to cobble together dodgy trade deals with right wing bigots and highly dubious regimes while seeking to remove us from the UKs largest export market, by far. But this is not just about trade and exports. The single market has also guaranteed rights at work, protected standards for consumers and safeguarded our environment.

“This is further evidence of the need for progressive MPs to come together this week and block the triggering of article 50. We need to send the government a clear message that we didn’t vote for this. We cannot allow the government to remove us from the single market and so trigger a downward spiral on jobs, workers’ rights, consumer protections and environmental safeguards.”   


 [1] http://www.centreforcities.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Cities-Outlook-2017-Web.pdf See page 19.