A key parliamentary select committee is visiting Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday 19th January to hear from ceramic and other businesses as part of an inquiry on the UK's approach to Brexit talks.
Members of the Exiting the EU Select Committee will tour the Johnson Tiles factory in Tunstall and take part in a meeting with members of the British Ceramic Confederation and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.
Exiting the EU Committee Member, Jeremy Lefroy (MP for Stafford) said “It is important the committee takes the time to visit a range of regions around the UK. I was keen to suggest Stoke-on-Trent as the region has a number of manufacturers, particularly in the ceramics sector and their voice needs to be heard.”
British Ceramic Confederation Chief Executive Dr Laura Cohen said, “The UK’s ceramic industry will be greatly affected by the outcome of the negotiations and so we welcome the opportunity to engage with the committee to share our views on what is needed for a successful Brexit. Trade is important: half of UK ceramic sector exports are to the European Union. Our members also have benefitted from some recent Free Trade Agreements so we would welcome transitional arrangements while these are renegotiated. Finally, there are currently EU tariffs on tiles and tableware defending 6,000 UK ceramic sector jobs against Chinese dumping, so many UK manufacturers and their suppliers need good transitional arrangements followed by supportive UK legislation.”
British Ceramic Confederation President, Stephen Dixon who is Managing Director of Johnson Tiles said, “We are delighted to host this visit. The sector is energy-intensive and this presents some challenges and opportunities during negotiations which the committee is keen to explore.”
Chamber of Commerce President, Paul Farmer, Managing Director of Wade Ceramics added, “Manufacturing is a key part of the economy in Staffordshire and with a strong local supply chain, we need Brexit to work for the whole of the economy.”
---ENDS--- Notes to editors
The British Ceramic Confederation is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry, representing the common and collective interests of all sectors of the industry. Its member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacture, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity.
The sector (including suppliers) generates annual sales of £2 billion, employs approx. 20,000 people directly as well as being an active exporter, with approx. £500 million in export sales. The sector is SME-led, with approx. 75% of BCC member companies being SMEs.
For more information please contact
Dr Andrew McDermott, Technical Director, email@example.com, Tel: 01782 572847 07833 059661 OR
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Photo opportunities during the factory tour will be available at Johnson Tiles, Harewood Street, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 5JZ at 14:40
There will be a brief opportunity to interview some ceramic manufacturers and the British Ceramic Confederation at 16:20, after the round table discussions.
Journalists wishing to attend should contact Tom Reynolds or Andrew McDermott