Euro MPs in Strasbourg, including local Lib Dem Phil Bennion, have voted to back negotiations on a EU-US trade deal which could boost the UK economy by up to £10 billion.

phillip-bennion-mep-1The EU single market and the USA together represent about half (47%) of the global economy and 30% of global trade. A deal could be worth between £4bn to £10bn a year in extra trade to the British economy alone, according to UK government figures.
After the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, West Midlands region MEP Phil Bennion, Lib Dem Employment spokesman, said:
"A trade deal between the EU and the USA would remove tariff charges on imports and exports between us and open up and increase economic activity on both sides of the Atlantic. This will encourage investment and create new jobs. 
"The UK is already the largest single destination globally for US investment, as a gateway into the common EU single market. But current tariff charges and other 'non-tariff barriers' reduce trade in both directions. 
"There are already around 680 American companies [3] which have invested in the West Midlands region. A free trade deal with the USA could encourage many more American firms to locate here, while also helping our manufacturers export more goods to the USA.
"The vote to back these negotiations was historic. The Greens were wrong to vote against.
"Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament and in government in the UK are pushing for a rapid conclusion of these negotiations so a deal can be signed." 
"Most people want to see the UK and EU countries work to our mutual advantage by increasing our exports and offering the USA access to the world's largest single market in return."
"The Prime Minister was right to push this deal to the Americans during his recent visit. The obsession of UKIP and the Conservative right with EU referendums is a distraction from the vital task of boosting jobs and growth by increasing trade."
After EU countries, the US is the biggest foreign investor in the UK, accounting for a quarter of all overseas investments and supporting around a million jobs.[1] 
In 2012 alone, US investment created and safeguarded 37,525 jobs in the UK.[2] Over 50% of the European headquarters of US-owned companies are located in the UK .