Saj joins North West Business Leadership Team at Parliamentary briefing

Sajjad joined North West MPs yesterday at the House of Commons for a business briefing with the North West Business Leadership Team .

The event was hosted by Sajjad’s Conservative colleague, Weaver Vale MP, Graham Evans who opened the meeting, welcoming all and was sponsored by Siemens, BAE Systems and Bright Future Software.

Graham Evans MP opens the meeting
Graham Evans MP opens the meeting

Juergen Maier (NWBLT Chair and CEO of Siemens UK) gave an overview of key issues facing business in the North West, describing the overall mood as ‘cautiously optimistic’.

IMG_5744Geoffrey Piper (CEO, NWBLT) introduced the NWBLT’s proposed productivity report, due to be published in 2016 with recommendations for addressing the productivity challenge regionally and nationally.

IMG_57111Eudie Thompson (Founder and CEO of Bright Future Software) gave a briefing on the role of apprenticeship training in software development.

IMG_5728The meeting then opened into a discussion on subjects ranging from investment in transport links to the adoption of the Living Wage and improved training in technical skills.

Progress on the Northern Powerhouse was particularly welcome with the suggestion there should be more emphasis placed on the aspect of industrial regeneration.

Sajjad commented “I am keen to ensure that all areas of the North West benefits for the benefits of the Northern Powerhouse that are being instigated by our Conservative Government. In the wake of the flooding it is even more important that Cumbria also is included in the devolution of powers away from Westminster to the region.”

Saj has welcomed the NWBLT’s recent statement committing support for the UK remaining as a member of the EU. Broadcaster and journalist Jim Hancock raised the issue of the forthcoming EU Referendum saying that business must be prepared to speak out about the benefits of EU membership.

IMG_57611In the North West around 4.3 million jobs depend on links with the EU and proportion of UK employment which is dependent on EU trade is even higher in the North than in the South of England.

Speaking at the meeting in response to comments on the EU referendum Sajjad said that he and Conservative MEPs have been working to deliver the Prime Ministers reform agenda through the European Parliament.

 A number of reforms are already under way particularly in the areas of cutting red tape to business and subsidiarity. David Cameron has made clear the negotiations he is undertaking with his European Council colleagues and we should all support the Prime Minister through the reform process, after which everyone will have the opportunity to vote on our future. But as the PM has said, everyone should be aware that the outcome of the referendum is final – no second chance, no second referendum – sealing our county’s future and that of our children and children’s children.