McCluskey: The prime minister must stop playing politics with people’s jobs and lives

Responding to the prime minister’s statement that the country should ‘get ready’ for the prospect of no trade deal with the EU, Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, said: “The EU is our largest trading partner. The future success of many of our industries depends on getting our new relationship right. 

“Unite has long campaigned for a Brexit which supports our members' jobs, sustains the communities in which they live and protects the future investment decisions of businesses. We’ve warned that as the clock ticks down to 31 December a deal on decent terms will not be forthcoming unless the government recognises the impact of a no deal on our manufacturing industries. 

“Our automotive industry, just one example, relies on 1,100 trucks delivering parts from Europe every day for it to function. Without customs arrangements there will be chaos and delays on our borders and those parts simply won’t get through in time.

“From car and pharmaceutical production to food processing and warehouse distribution, working people need a deal that keeps our country moving, our shops filled. An Australian-style deal is not that deal.

“The Prime Minister must stop playing politics with people's jobs and lives. No deal will be a disaster for an economy already suffering deep harm due to the pandemic. 

“There is every risk that our country could experience its worst recession in generations and the prime minister’s reckless refusal to do a deal with the EU will only make things far worse for working people.”