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Darren raises post-Brexit education funding with government

Brexit could have a devastating effect on public services, because they are funded by taxes and Brexit will cripple our tax receipts to the tune of up to £100 billion for 50 years (Berenberg Bank and OBR).

And as well as a possible tax receipt hit of £100 billion over the next 50 years, up to £100 billion of taxes will have to instead be spent on the EU ‘divorce bill’.

Education is a vital public service and so Darren raised it with the relevant minister, writing

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect on forecasted funding for her Department in the event that the UK leaves the EU and only operates as a member of the WTO in its trading relationship with the EU.

Robert Goodwill, a Minister of State for the Department of Education, replied

As part of our preparations for exiting the European Union, the Government is in the process of carrying out a programme of rigorous and extensive analytical work across departments. This programme will contribute to our exit negotiations with the European Union and inform our understanding of how EU exit will affect the United Kingdom’s domestic policies and frameworks. This Department’s interests will be fully considered as part of this process and we are planning for a range of scenarios, working alongside HM Treasury and the Department for Exiting the European Union.

It is perhaps disappointing that the government cannot deliver an answer on this forecasted funding.

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Darren challenges the governments on their Brexit plans for the South West

Brexit could have up to a -6% effect on UK GDP (LSE European Institute). There are additional challenges for the South West, with parts of it set to lose guaranteed EU funding. With these issues looming on the horizen, Darren asked the government whether they were planning for them. He wrote to them

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what regional impact assessments his Department has conducted to measure the economic consequences of the Government’s model for leaving the EU; and what method of consultation and representation his Department has implemented with local authorities in the South West on negotiations with the EU and on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Exiting The European Union

The Department for Exiting the EU, working with officials across government, is undertaking a comprehensive programme of analytical work to assess, across a range of scenarios, the economic impacts of exiting the European Union for all areas of the UK. However, it would not be appropriate to publish details that could undermine the UK’s negotiating position with the EU.

As part of our commitment to hear from every sector and region in the UK, the Government and DExEU Ministers continue to engage extensively with regional stakeholders, and intend to continue this work throughout the exit process.

Ministers in the Department have visited the South West of England twice since the creation of the Department, and plan to return in the near future.

DExEU and the Department for Communities and Local Governments are working closely with the Local Government Association and regional partners across the country to understand clearly issues related to exit and to identify any regional implications.

In other words, there has been no concrete progress made on any of the processes Darren asked about.

 

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Darren Jones MP asks the government about post-Brexit trade

Parts of the government’s argument for how they can make Brexit a success rely on changing the WTO rules. With this in mind, Darren wrote to the government and said the following:

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Prime Minister’s statement of 10 July 2017, Official Report, column 26, on the G20 summit, what rule changes he has requested from the WTO relating to the (a) services and (b) digital sector.

Mark Garnier MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary

replied:

As the Prime Minister and Department for International Trade ministers have set out, the UK is a founding member and active participant in the ongoing work of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This includes an active involvement in services and the digital sector, where we continue to advocate for services trade liberalisation and are encouraging members to restart negotiations on the ambitious Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

On the digital economy, we are working with other WTO Member States to achieve a positive outcome at the Ministerial Conference in December 2017. This includes working with developing and least developed countries as a core supporter of UNCTAD’s ‘eTrade for All’ initiative which seeks to improve the ability of developing countries to benefit from e-commerce.

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Darren asks the government about Brexit’s impact on Services and the digital sector

Darren wrote:

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK’s (a) services and (b) digital sector in the event that the UK leaves the EU and only operates as a member of the WTO in its trading relationship with the EU.

Robin Walker, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Exiting The European Union, answered:

The UK Government is focused on getting the best possible deal with the EU to ensure that the Services and Digital sectors can continue to trade as freely as possible.

The Department for Exiting the European Union, working with officials across government, continues to undertake a wide range of analysis to support our negotiations. This is part of the government’s continued programme of rigorous and extensive analytical work on a range of scenarios.

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Darren challenges the Prime Minister on Brexit in Parliament

WATCH HERE:

At the moment, if we get no deal with the EU after Brexit we will be subject to WTO rules when trading with them. The Prime Minister had answered concerns about this by saying we could reform these rules.

Darren asked:

I thank the Prime Minister for her statement and note her efforts to reform the World Trade Organisation rules in order that they keep up with the services and digital sectors, which are crucial to the British economy. Does she agree that any reform of the WTO rules will take longer than the time we have left before the UK crashes out of EU without a trade deal in 2019?

The Prime Minister replied:

One point of my comments at the G20 was that we need to speed up how the WTO considers these issues. Looking at the trade rules around the digital economy is not being started from scratch; the WTO has been doing it for some time. We just need to ensure that we get on with it and get those rules set.

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Darren Jones MP makes his Maiden Speech in the House of Commons

All new Members of Parliament make a “Maiden Speech” before they can fully start their work as an MP. Darren made his during the Queen’s Speech debate on Brexit. Read more

Darren writes to Brexit Secretary to protect Airbus jobs in Bristol

Airbus announced that they would leave the UK if trade negotiations with the EU over Brexit fail to deliver single market equivalence. Read more