'Selling off the family crockery' - Ruth Smeeth MP

ruth_smeeth.jpgI’m incredibly proud to be the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove, I’m also proud to be a member of GMB who (after a recent merger with the union Unity) represents thousands of ceramics workers.

The importance of the ceramics industry in my constituency is well known, with “the Potteries” a byword for Stoke-on-Trent itself. Football fans might know Stoke FC as ‘The Potters’. That’s why.

So when I got a chance to directly ask the Prime Minister a question today, I asked about the ceramics industry – so many people and families across my constituency (and the country) rely on it. And you know what? We’re proud of the culture, heritage and world class work people in Stoke-on-Trent do. I spend a lot of time shouting about how great The Potteries are for our city, but we need action from this government to make sure it stays that way.  

There’s lots of talk about dumping of Chinese steel on the UK economy (and rightly so, lots of jobs are at risk across the country), but what is less widely known is that something similar could happen with ceramics putting 300,000 jobs at risk across the EU.

I called on the Prime Minister today to reject Market Economy Status for China. That sounds technical (and it can be) but it comes down to this: anti-dumping measures won’t work if China is granted Market Economy Status.

I’ve been working with GMB, other MPs and Peers, employers in Stoke and with the British Ceramics Confederation to make sure the issue of UK ceramics is on the agenda and that the livelihoods of local people and the proud history of ceramics in Stoke is protected.

Today I asked: The Prime Minister has already sold off the family silver, can he now guarantee that he won't sell off the family crockery?

Unfortunately, we got no such guarantee. 

Ruth is the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove. She was elected in 2015 and is the Commercial Services lead on the GMB Parliamentary Group executive. If constituents would like to get in touch, you can email her on ruth.smeeth.mp@parliament.uk. 

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