LABOUR will today claim membership of the European Union is critical to the future of thousands of jobs linked to the car industry in Yorkshire.
Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle will highlight new figures showing a car bound for Europe rolls off a UK production line every 36 seconds.
While Yorkshire is not synonymous with car production, thousands of manufacturing jobs in the region are dependent on the sector.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show almost 12,000 people in the region are in jobs linked to vehicle manufacturing.
That represents almost one in 20 manufacturing jobs in the region and one in every 100 people in work.
Ms Eagle said: “The car industry is absolutely vital for the Yorkshire and the Humber’s economy, providing thousands of high-pay, high-skilled jobs.
“The EU is good for business and good for working people too. Nowhere is this more evident than in our world-beating car industry.
“Staying in the EU can help us build on this success. But leaving would put this all at risk.
“The EU is vital for jobs, for investment and for workers’ rights. That’s why Labour is campaigning hard to remain.”
Labour will point to figures showing almost half the cars that are manufactured in the UK are exported to EU countries.
Ms Eagle will also highlight a survey showing 77 per cent of employers in the car industry believed remaining in the EU was best for their businesses.
Both Nissan and Toyota, which have large operations in the UK, have declared their preference for Britain to stay in the EU but stressed they will not take part in the referendum and it is a matter for the British people.
The Remain campaign yesterday suggested that UK firms would face a collective ‘export tax’ of more than £34bn from leaving the EU because of the cost of meeting extra rules and regulations.
However Leave campaigners have claimed the benefits of ending Britain’s membership of the EU would outweigh any potential costs. They have also pointed out British companies face costs to export to EU countries even with membership of the single market.