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Chamber calls for clarity ahead of Spending Review

The Government will deliver its spending review this Wednesday (September 4), giving details of how much money will be allocated to different departments during the 2020-21 financial year.

Chancellor Sajid Javid is to address the House of Commons with a raft of new spending commitments at a crucial time in UK politics, where MPs on all sides are split over the biggest issue of the moment, Brexit.

The North East England Chamber of Commerce has stressed the importance of getting clarity on EU trading post Brexit and the need for substantial infrastructure investment.

Chamber chief executive, James Ramsbotham, also asked for clarity over the future of regional development funds and economic programmes.

He said: “This is a critical time for our economy. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is causing demonstrable harm to business confidence and performance and is resulting in delayed or cancelled investment.

“This harm is being compounded by the Government’s willingness to embrace ‘No Deal’ as an acceptable outcome. We remain steadfast in our opinion that ‘No Deal’ will be hugely damaging to the economy of the UK as a whole and to North East England in particular.

“The Treasury’s own analysis has shown us to be the region most exposed to any negative consequences of Brexit. The Spending Review is therefore an opportunity to both improve the resilience of our economy and to make good on your Party’s manifesto commitment to close the performance gaps that exist between different regions.

“Government must commit to the funding and rapid completion of both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). However, problems with existing rail infrastructure must not be overlooked. We call on you to back the Chamber’s Fast Track East Coast campaign for much needed investment in the East Coast Mainline.”