union for life

Warrington North

Warrington North

Major employers

Sellafield, AMEC Foster Wheeler, BT

Questions

  1. How will you ensure that key, cross-border industries – including energy, telecoms, broadcasting, nuclear, science and aviation – can prosper outside the single market?
  2. Will you campaign for a nuclear deal that provides a secure future pathway for new build, decommissioning, nuclear R&D and regulation?
  3. Will you commission a review of the work and purpose of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with the aim of growing the UK’s share of the worldwide £580bn decommissioning market?
  4. Will you guarantee continued access to European science funding streams and collaborative projects and freedom of movement for relevant STEM workers?
  5. Will you provide the telecoms sector with the certainty and stability needed to deliver necessary investment by ruling out further interference in the legal and operational structure of BT and its subsidiary OpenReach?

Candidates’ responses

Val Allen (Conservative)

Response awaited

Helen Jones (Labour)

Response awaited

Stefan Krizanac (Lib Dem)

How will you ensure that key, cross-border industries – including energy, telecoms, broadcasting, nuclear, science and aviation – can prosper outside the single market?

We are being promised that, while it is the government’s intention to leave the Single Market, terms of trade will be negotiated which are equivalent. The only answer to that is a sceptical ‘Will they?’ Many feel that there is an EFTA trading solution, but an enormous amount of energy will be wasted trying to get back to where we are now. For that reason the Liberal Democrats want the country to have a say, once the negotiations are complete.

If businesses and the people see that the damage done by moving to new terms of trade is genuinely and provably serious they should have an opportunity to think again.

My fear is, however, that many multinational businesses will de-invest in the UK because it will be too difficult to have constructive relationships with our European partners, who will probably respond by seizing the opportunity and becoming more aggressive competitors. If elected I will speak for the Energy and Technology sectors which are vital to Warrington’s prosperity to make sure that their voice is heard in Westminster. Warrington is the town tenth most dependent on European Trade and we have a very substantial science engineering and technology sector comprising both businesses and academic and research staff and establishments. Warrington will be unusually seriously affected by the need to re-adjust to the, as yet unknown, future outside the Single Market.

If elected, I will argue strongly for the least damaging deals that come closest to replicating current collaborative arrangements.

Will you campaign for a nuclear deal that provides a secure future pathway for new build, decommissioning, nuclear R&D and regulation?

I will campaign vigorously for the vital Nuclear Sector in Warrington. I am a member of the Association of Liberal Democrat  Engineers and Scientists, so have access to experts to advise me. My father worked in the Nuclear related heavy engineering sector, spending his career at Head Wrightson, and I have a close friend who was on the board of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

I would strongly argue that the snap decision to leave Euratom was wrong and that we should not leave, or we should re-apply. The Atomic sector is a global industry, but it is also a high risk industry that a country the size of the UK cannot support alone.

Partnerships with the US are very risky as Toshiba has discovered. The very existence of Toshiba is at risk because of their takeover of the General Electric nuclear business which proved to be a massive liability. It is essential that the European Nuclear Industry continues to work together and we are not excluded from it.

What would you do to support the UK nuclear industry gaining a greater share of the estimated £150bn global decommissioning market?

Nuclear de-commissioning is an enormous opportunity but it is also very high risk and too big for any individual country to undertake. Do we partner with Europe, the US, China, where? European expertise and engineering are world class, undertaking projects such as the Chernobyl sarcophagus – led by French engineers. If we want to be effective in this industry we need to keep close partners in Europe.

Unfortunately the way Brexit is being conducted, and the weight given to the supposed views of the public, who voted having been misled, does not make me optimistic. Many of those who voted Leave were complaining about issues that have little to do with Europe, or the membership of the Single Market. Only my party offers Britain the opportunity to change direction now.