Newton Aycliffe MP Phil Wilson is expected to address prominent North-East businesses at a People’s Vote rally in the region on Monday.
Business leaders from across the North-East are upping their pressure on the Government to stop a no-deal Brexit by holding the rally.
Campaign group North East 4 EU (NE4EU) has teamed up with a number of business leaders and local MPs to protest against the government’s handling of Brexit negotiations.
The meeting will be attended by a number of business heads including Ian Dormer, former chair of the Institute of Directors and managing director of Durham-based Rosh Engineering, as well as Richard Swart, global sales director of Berger Group Europe and honorary vice-president of the North-East England Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield, and Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell will also be offering their support to the campaign by speaking at the event, due to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.
“I don’t think anyone who is serious wants a no-deal Brexit. It is fantasy,” said Mr Wilson.
“Just speak to the business organisations in the North-East, including the chemical industry which employs nearly 8,000 on Teesside – you cannot be blasé about this.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to hold a delayed parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday.
NE4EU spokesperson David Hardman, who heads Newcastle-based design firm Outline, said: “Business leaders will make it very clear at our meeting that they are desperately concerned about the economic catastrophe that will befall the North-East if the Government and Parliament allow us to go over the cliff-edge of a No Deal Brexit in less than one hundred days from now.
“The concern of the business community is now such that they feel obliged to speak out and urge the politicians to avoid this crisis by extending the Article 50 implementation period to allow for a People’s Vote.”
Official analysis by the Government found that the North-East will be one of the worst hit regions of the UK if we leave the EU without a deal.
It is expected that GDP in the North East will be hit by 16%.
Mr Hardman added: “Businesses are now telling us loudly and clearly that the politicians need to act now to avert disaster.
“They are joining with us to support our call to allow people to say whether they really want the shambolic Brexit that now looms before us or whether the country should think again.
“It is obvious that there is no enthusiasm from any quarter for Theresa May’s deal, which offers no sovereignty, no new trade opportunities, and would place serious restrictions on the jobs and skills our economy needs.
“Equally, there is no enthusiasm from business for the catastrophe of No Deal and the chaos this will bring to an exporting economy like the North-East.”
A large number of North-East directors, professionals, and academics have also been adding their signatures to a letter calling for a People’s Vote.
The list includes industry heavyweights such as Dyer Engineering’s Matt Boyle, Ryder Architecture’s Mark Thompson, and Lakes Distillery CEO Nigel Mills.
A number of academics including Prof Nigel Glover, the head of physics at Durham University, and the chair of CERN scientific policy committee Prof Keith Ellis have added their names to the letter.
Businesses from across the North-East are invited to attend the Business for a People’s Vote Rally, which is taking place between 11.30am and 1.30pm at the Hilton Hotel.