Julie Underwood, international trade director, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “Despite the reported slow start to the year, North East exporters enjoyed their strongest first quarter since 2014. However, the figures delivered a reminder of North Eastern reliance on European Trade, as regional exports to the Union totalled 62.3%.
“June is a crucial period for Brexit, with a vote on Withdrawal and an EU Summit at the end of the month. We must see clear and significant progress now towards a deal that works for the North East.
“While the Chamber continues to help businesses prepare for Brexit as much as possible, we call upon Government to outline its vision for the future ‘deep and special’ relationship, to give members the best chance to make a success of Brexit.
“To continue the development of a Global North East, we need to see more support for exporters, whether financial, research or contacts, that reduces the burden on first time exporters, or those moving into new markets.”