OVER 50 party members attended a presentation from Labour’s North-East MEP Jude Kirton-Darling at Hexham Community Centre last Thursday.

Ms Kirton-Darling discussed the progress of the Brexit talks and the likely consequences of Brexit for the North-East.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms Kirton-Darling said: “A key concern is the short timescale for negotiating our exit.

“Given the need for thorough scrutiny of any deal, an agreement would need to be reached by October this year, if the March 2019 were to be met.

“The perception from within Europe was that the UK did not have a clear idea of what it wanted.”

“People do not appreciate how complicated a process untangling the UK from Europe is.

“It could well be possible that no deal will be reached.”

Ms Kirton-Darling also raised concerns about the impact of Brexit on the North-East, and referenced the recent figures leaked by the Government.

The economic assessments released earlier this month suggest that the North-East will be the hardest hit region by any outcome of Brexit talks.

A so called ‘Hard Brexit’ could see the North-East economy shrink by up to 16 per cent and put up to 200,000 jobs in the region at risk.

Taking questions from party members, the MEP declared that she was not in support of a second referendum on a final Brexit deal.

Ms Kirton-Darling added: “The referendum was about returning sovereignty to the UK Parliament.

“Parliament is where any final Brexit decision and agreement on the terms should be made.”

The MEP also took questions on the position of the Labour Party on Brexit. The party has been accused of being unclear on the issue.

She referred to Shadow Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer’s six criteria for a satisfactory Brexit, including no impact on jobs and identical employment rights.