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Unions warn against a no-deal Brexit

WORKERS will never forgive the government if Britain crashes out of the EU without a trade deal, trade unions said today.

Firms and their staff, in sectors ranging from automotive to food and drink, have long called for a post-Brexit deal to protect trade.

And unions fear that the uncertainty created by a no-deal Brexit will lead companies to scrap investment plans and send work overseas.

GMB union’s European officer Kathleen Walker Shaw said that the impact of no-deal Brexit on British jobs and businesses was “unthinkable.”

“Those who voted to leave didn’t vote for less security and worse pay, terms and conditions,” she said.

“The oven-ready deal now feels distinctly half-baked. The Prime Minister needs to deliver a deal that doesn’t result in a race to the bottom.

“Working people will never forgive this government if we crash out of the EU without a deal because ministers want to reserve their right to attack workplace rights.”

Unite national officer Steve Bush noted that the automotive sector employs 823,000 workers, relying on 1,100 lorries per day to deliver the parts needed to build vehicles.

“It cannot function if there is chaos at our ports,” he said.

“The government has to get a deal, one that keeps trade as friction-free and smooth as possible. It must not turn its back on UK automaking.”

The World Travel & Tourism Council said that hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK and across Europe were at risk under no-deal.

Prospect union general secretary Mike Clancy said: “With the UK aviation industry on its knees because of the pandemic, it would be reckless to fail to strike an agreement that allows basic continuity of service with the EU.

“We simply cannot risk our fragile economic recovery and tens of thousands of jobs because of the relentless pursuit of a narrow view of sovereignty.”

Paul Everitt, head of aerospace trade group ADS, warned that “no-deal is the worst possible outcome for UK industry.”

They sounded the alarm after PM Boris Johnson’s admission that a no-deal Brexit is now “very, very likely” following talks with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

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

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