The Blue Collar Conservatism group, joined by the Daily Express, will head to Sedgefield this evening to meet businesses and discuss UK-made products. They will hold a debate in Tony Blair’s old constituency, which turned blue in 2019 after Boris Johnson’s huge election victory.
Tory MP Esther McVey, who is spearheading the five-day conference, will be joined by fellow MPs Paul Howell and Dehenna Davidson for a lively debate to discuss the benefits of prioritising British-made products from 6pm.
Trade Secretary Grant Shapps will also be in the North East of England, where he will answer questions over products made in Britain, along with Tory MPs Paul Howell, Jacob Young, Richard Holden, Peter Gibson and Ben Houchen.
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It comes amid fears UK manufactures are struggling against competition from cheap imported goods.
In 2016 more than £30.3billion of Britain’s food imports and £12.3billion of its food exports were with the EU, totalling almost £1,300 of trade.
But the coronavirus crisis has exposed Britain’s reliance on imports and it is hoped the production of critical goods will be bought back to the UK after Brexit.
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Campaign group Make it British said Britain’s momentous exit from the bloc would mean British made goods could now carry a ‘Made in Britain’ label.
It said: “We were never keen on the plans to change the country of origin labelling so that British-made goods could no longer carry a ‘Made in Britain’ tag, so we can breath a sigh of relief on that one now.”
In in further signs of hope, manufacturer John Edwards said Brexit has resulted in younger generations renewing their focus on buying British products.
READ MORE: Made in Brexit Britain: Young Britons want UK-produced goods
“The people in this part of the world have a lot of assets to offer and a lot of technical expertise, it just needs to be pushed and pushed, and pushed.
“The skill-set in the area is unbelievable, it’s just overlooked.
Mr Edwards’ company returned its main manufacturing activities to the UK following the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Tune in to Express.co.uk at 6.30pm tonight for the big Blue Collar Conservatism debate.