I was delighted to visit Howarth Timber, Prince Edward Works on Pontefract Lane, Leeds, today and learn of its contribution not only to Leeds, but also to the wider Yorkshire economy. It was a pleasure to meet Assistant Branch Manager, Gary Smart, and his team, who help customers with their housing and home improvement projects. We need better quality and more affordable homes to help improve the lives of constituents.
As well as discussing how the 178-year old business is evolving to meet today’s construction challenge with managing director Nick Howarth, I spoke about the impact of leaving the European Union without a customs’ agreement and, in particular, having to pay VAT upfront on imported timber and other materials.
I want to see a mutually-beneficial UK-EU customs agreement to help companies like Howarth Timber. Time is not on our side and with 9 months left, future customs arrangements and other crucial elements affecting Yorkshire businesses have not been agreed by the Cabinet, or negotiated with the EU.