Leaders from the ceramics industry gathered today at Valentine Clays in Fenton to discuss their post-Brexit futures with Minister for Trade Policy, George Hollingbery MP.
The round-table discussion was arranged and led by Jack Brereton, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South, and included leaders of more than a dozen ceramics businesses. The leaders discussed the opportunities for exporting more local products around the world after Brexit, and also the protections which the industry requires to prevent dumping of knock-off products by rogue companies in foreign countries.
Jack also arranged for the Department for International Trade’s Export Hub to attend, where a wide range of local businesses in the ceramics and other sectors were able to receive one-to-one advice from export advisers.
Following the round-table, Jack Brereton and George Hollingbery visited expanding local pottery firm Heraldic Pottery in Newstead, whose directors Andy Tooth and Jason Simms continued the discussion about exporting ceramics around the world while showing some of the projects on which the factory is currently working.
Trade Policy Minister, George Hollingbery said: “It was a pleasure to meet ceramics businesses in Stoke-on-Trent today, who are already having great success in exporting to markets around the world.
“It is one of my top priorities to ensure that fantastic businesses like Heraldic Pottery and Valentine Clays are able to continue expanding into new and established markets. They should rest assured that, as we take control of our independent trade policy, we will act in the interest of vital British industries to ensure that British jobs are not undermined by unfair trading practices.”
Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, said, “The local ceramics industry is in one of its strongest positions for decades. I brought the Minister for Trade Policy here today to listen to what the industry needs to thrive after Brexit, and I am pleased so many business leaders were able to attend.
“Brexit will allow our local firms to trade more easily the fantastic products our workforce produces in Stoke-on-Trent right around the world. I am also extremely pleased to have secured amendments to trade policies for when we leave the EU that will ensure local industries and jobs are protected against rogue companies in countries like China who want to flood the UK with cheap knock-off ceramic products.”
Alan Ault, Managing Director at Valentine Clays Ltd., commented: “We felt privileged that our venue was chosen as a way to promote our great industry and the importance of it within the current economic climate. Trade Minister George Hollingbery was extremely supportive of the current issues that the ceramic industry is facing in terms of exports and trade policy and I felt encouraged that he will help to ensure they are kept at the top of the governments agenda.”
Dr. Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said, “Ceramics is a thriving, growing sector exporting round the world. Companies meeting the Minister, all exporters, make everything from tableware to ceramic components for the automotive and aerospace industries.
“All our members need a Brexit that allows them to continue to trade smoothly with the EU and their other trading partners around the world. We are working closely with our members on Brexit and this was a good opportunity to raise any concerns at a Ministerial level.”