BORIS Johnson has visited the North-East a year after taking traditional Labour seats on the way to his general election win.

The Prime Minister arrived in Blyth, Northumberland, where a major investment in an electric vehicle battery plant which could create up to 8,000 direct and indirect jobs was announced overnight.

Mr Johnson visited the ORE Catapult wind turbine testing plant beside the docks in the town, meeting apprentices under a 107m-long (351ft) blade.

The huge turbines will be used in the Dogger Bank wind farm, set to become the world’s largest when it it completed, 120km (74 miles) off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea.

The SSE project will build 190 turbines standing 260m tall (853ft). They could generate enough power for six million homes, once the second phase is finished.

Last month Mr Johnson announced a 10-point green recovery plan.

Ian Levy, a former mental health support worker, won the seat of Blyth Valley for the Tories in 2019, the first time they had taken Blyth since the constituency was formed in 1950.

During the visit, Mr Johnson warned it is “very, very likely” that the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

The Prime Minister said he was “hopeful” that progress could be made in talks but stressed that the two sides remained stuck on fisheries and the so-called level-playing field.

His comments came after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the negotiating teams’ positions remained apart on “fundamental issues”.

The two leaders have agreed to make a decision on the future of the negotiations by the end of the weekend.

Speaking to reporters in Blyth, Mr Johnson said: “Unfortunately at the moment, as you know, there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress.

“And that’s this kind of ratchet clause they’ve got in to keep the UK locked in to whatever they want to do in terms of legislation, which obviously doesn’t work.

“And then there is the whole issue of fish where we’ve got to be able to take back control of our waters. So there is a way to go – we’re hopeful that progress can be made.

“But I’ve got to tell that from where I stand now, here in Blyth, it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January.

“It obviously would be different from what we’d set out to achieve but I have no doubt this country can get ready and, as I say, come out on World Trade terms.”