Responding to the government's white paper published today (Thursday 12 July), setting out the UK future arrangements with the European Union post-Brexit, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:

“People at home worried about their jobs and futures will have watched aghast at the shambles the government made of unveiling arguably the most important set of proposals before this country for generations.  

“Two years after the vote to leave the EU the urgent hope was that today we would at long last understand the government's vision for the country after Brexit.

“But the only thing clear is that the government is in crisis with itself and is still playing Russian roulette with the jobs and communities of this country. 

“The truth is that Conservative proposals for trade with the EU once we leave mean that barriers will go up. That is very bad news for working people in this country who need the smooth trading arrangements that support good jobs and industry to continue.

“It also keeps up the fiction that the government's approach to the Irish border is workable, which it is not.

“This is a compromise paper, a fudge, which pleases no one and is politically undeliverable.  

“Time is running out. Theresa May can’t get this plan through her divided party. If she had any faith in it she would put this plan to a vote of the people with a general election.

“She now has to pick a side - the people or her squabbling party who time and again fail to stand up for the working people of the UK?”


For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.