Life in Politics column by Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood: Britain can thrive and grow outside EU

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It is more than two years after the referendum in which the majority of British voters decided to leave the European Union.

Remainer “experts” and politicians predicted an immediate apocalypse, which did not happen, forecasting half a million jobs lost and instant recession. On the contrary, some of the latest economic data are extremely encouraging: the GDP growth rates for the second quarter of 2018 are at a positive 0.4 per cent, more than the average of the Eurozone (0.3 per cent) and France (0.2 per cent).

According to ONS data employment rose to a 75.5 per cent rate, with unemployment at a 40-years-low. In Yorkshire, 2000 more people entered unemployment between May and July. The Government is improving the economy after inheriting finances on the verge of collapse from Gordon Brown, creating jobs and increasing wages. Incomes are up to 2.9 per cent, without counting bonuses, the best result since July 2015 and real wage rose by 0.5 per cent between May and July.

#DespiteBrexit has become a viral hashtag, ironically showing the successes of the economy contrasting the gloomy forecasts of many. In the last months, Anglo-Dutch information giant Relx decided to transfer all its Dutch shares to London. Aston Martin, the iconic British luxury car brand, has announced a £50m investment in Wales to produce its electrical Rapid E model, creating 200 additional jobs. Lear Corporation, the American supplier of automotive parts, invested £54m in its UK operation, creating 220 jobs and safeguarding another 600 in their factories in Alfreton, Sunderland, Coventry and Redditch. Cummins, another American company producing engines, with many sites in the UK and an expanding one in Huddersfield, committed to investing £210m in R&D over the next three years. World famous Somerset’s Thatcher cider will build a new mill, worth £14m.

The chemical multinational company Ineos has announced that it will invest in a £60m new furnace in their petrochemical complex in Grangemouth, in Scotland. Japanese Ryobi Aluminium, based in County Antrim, are getting a new melting furnace and die-casting machines, to increase production of precision transmission components, for £7m. German company Leoni will be investing £7m in a new technical centre in South Warwickshire, creating over 100 new design and development jobs.

Electric Co has confirmed Birmingham as the location for its new UK R&D Centre, which will employ more than 150 engineers by 2022, with an overall investment of up to £50 million. Hyperbat Limited will open the UK’s largest vehicle battery manufacturing factory in Coventry in early 2019. The site will create around 90 jobs.

A record number of tourists are visiting the UK, +17 per cent compared to 2015, more than any other EU country.

There are dozens of examples of companies that decide, everyday, to invest and create jobs, growth and wealth in Britain. All of that despite the uncertainties of Brexit. Just think of the possibilities that we will have once we will fully leave the EU, when we will be able to trade freely across the world.

These encouraging signals show to the UK-sceptics that there is life outside of Brussels, that Britain can thrive and grow thanks to our buccaneering, can-do spirit.

As a proud nation of shopkeepers, as Napoleon defined us, we know how to make good deals and we will be doing even more so outside of the EU.