London - The prospect of a disorderly Brexit is putting skilled manufacturing jobs and "millions of pounds of investment in the economy" at risk, the UK’s general trade union GMB Union has warned.
In an analysis released 21 May, the union said the manufacturing sector employed 2.5 million, contributing £118 billion (€134 billion) a year to the economy.
The industry also supports a further five million jobs in the wider economy, including in the supply chain.
Citing a 2018 survey, GMB said one in five manufacturing employers plan on cutting jobs after Brexit, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union set for end of October.
The Bank of England also recently warned that in the past months ‘investment intentions fell sharply in manufacturing, mostly due to Brexit uncertainty.’
“These figures show what is at stake in the European elections," said Jude Brimble, GMB national secretary for manufacturing, adding, "the prospect of a chaotic Brexit is sending a chill throughout manufacturing.”
According to Brimble, there have already been job losses and paused investment in foundational industries such as food manufacturing, car production and ceramics.
“The situation will only get worse if we end up with a rushed and disorderly Brexit,” he added.
Brimble concluded by urging politicians from all parties to rule out a no-deal Brexit, to avoid its “devastating” impact on the UK’s manufacturing and export industries.