Campaigners in the North East have slammed the Brexit deal claiming it’s “not a good one” and said the fight to rejoin the EU has already begun.
Louise Brown held a number of protests outside Sunderland’s Nissan plant in a bid to get the Government to sign a Brexit deal which would secure the future of the factory.
Nissan bosses previously warned a no-deal Brexit would make the Sunderland plant nonviable, which would be a devastating blow for the North East economy and the 7,000 workers on its site.
There were fears the North East would be hit the hardest by a failure to agree a trade deal and campaigners pleaded with the government to “make a good deal”.
A Brexit deal has since been agreed more than four years after Britain voted to leave the EU.
North East for Europe (NE4EU) said, however, the deal made is “not a good one” and said they will continue to hold the government to account.
Louise said: “While we are pleased we are not leaving the EU without a deal, the one that has been struck is not a good one.
“For example, businesses will still be hit hard with costs and delays from customs checks.
“We were told that leaving the EU would cut red tape, however, this appears not to be the case.
“We will continue to exist as an organisation to hold the government to account for their promises over Brexit.
“The EU gave the North East twice as much money per head than the rest of the country – we cannot believe this will be replicated by the government despite Johnson’s claims of levelling up the North East.”
Louise said some people have been feeling suicidal over Brexit and reassured EU citizens that they will support them.
She said: “We believe the younger generation, in particular, have been robbed of many opportunities by leaving the EU, e.g. the Erasmus scheme and the right to work in all EU countries.
“We are also here to support EU citizens who live here and all those who will feel extremely upset that we are leaving the EU tonight.
“This was no Christmas present for us and we have people contacting us to tell us they feel suicidal over Brexit.
“Let us also remember that Newcastle is a remain city and thousands of people have attended our rallies over the last 4 years to show their commitment to the EU.
“We are not going away and the campaign to rejoin has already begun.”
During a virtually held zoom meeting organised by NE4EU speakers discussed how the result of the referendum affected them.
Committee member Robina Jacobssen said: “Since 1973, we’ve been citizens of the European Union able to go live and work as equals to make lasting friends with other EU citizens and to learn from them the joys of their countries.
“Like all of you we were absolutely devastated by the results of the 2016 referendum, it surely could not stand.
“We can’t give up on the job now because we all want our families and friends to have the same enriching and exciting times we’ve had as EU citizens.”
Other speakers included former Labour MEP Julie Ward who said it was a “moment for grieving” and Daniel Elsom spoke about how young people will be affected by Brexit.
Boris Johnson, however, said the agreement reached with Brussels was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”.
The Prime Minister added the deal, which was overwhelmingly approved by MPs, will “protect jobs across this country” and has “taken back control of our laws and our destiny”.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the deal was “fair and balanced”, describing the process as “a long and winding road”.