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'Our thoughts are with Ukraine, and the impact on business of Russia's unprovoked invasion' – CLEP Chair Lord Inglewood

Lord Inglewood Lord Inglewood, CLEP Chair

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) Chair Lord Inglewood has said that the thoughts and prayers of Cumbrians are with the people of Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country enters its seventh day.

Lord Inglewood, a former UK Government Minister and Member of the European Parliament, condemned the actions of the Russian Government as a blatant, unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.

He also spoke of a humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region and urged all nations to work together to ensure that economic sanctions have maximum effect on the Kremlin.

He said: “What we are witnessing in Ukraine are scenes that we hoped we’d never see again on the continent of Europe, or anywhere else on the globe.

“Vladimir Putin, an amoral despot, has shown that he is prepared to use barbaric tactics and will stop at nothing against innocent civilians in defence of entirely spurious claims of threats to Russia.

“It is vital that the whole international community remains solid and steadfast in condemnation of Putin’s tactics and united in application of the most robust economic sanctions available to us. These will inevitably impact on Cumbrian businesses, which I am sure will play their part.

“We stand in solidarity with the Government and people of Ukraine and with the Ukrainian community here in Cumbria, who need our support too.

“I also hope that Governments across Europe and beyond will work together to mitigate as far as possible the effects of the unfolding humanitarian crisis as the numbers of refugees fleeing Ukraine continue to rise.”

'Our thoughts are with Ukraine, and the impact on business of Russia's unprovoked invasion': CLEP Chair Lord Inglewood

Civic buildings in Cumbria have been lit up in yellow and blue, the colours of the Ukrainian flag, as a mark of support.

At a recent meeting of CLEP’s Business and Economic Advisory Group (BEAG), businesses were asked to identify key issues emerging from the crisis so that co- ordinated responses could be developed.

Concerns were expressed about the availability of fertiliser due to the continued increase in gas prices, which could affect food production in the UK.

BEAG also heard requests for the UK Government to consider the knock-on effects of the conflict on issues such as food and energy resilience and how policy can better reflect the need for greater resilience. For example, Russia and Ukraine are significant wheat producers.

The meeting also heard that fuel prices, which had already increased markedly, were expected to rise further. A plea was made for a reduction in fuel duty to compensate for increased VAT receipts attendant on those fuel price rises.

The impacts are being felt and any businesses affected can gain further information and advice on the CLEP website:

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