Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, branded prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit promises as ‘worthless’ following the publication of a joint document on Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the European Union.

Describing the draft document as a ‘declaration of failure’ by the prime minister, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “The draft political declaration shows that Theresa May’s promises on frictionless trade, regulatory alignment and workers’ rights are worthless.

“This is a document that could have been written two years ago and to use the prime minister’s own words ‘nothing has changed’. Theresa May remains boxed into political contradictions of her own making, unable to guarantee the frictionless trade needed to secure jobs, while a hard border is threatened through the Irish Sea.

“It is a declaration of failure from a prime minister who promises one thing to Tory Brexiteers and another to business, while failing to move negotiations forward in Brussels. The result is a blindfold Brexit and years of uncertainty.

“Employers should not fall into the trap of expending their goodwill on Theresa May’s vague promises. This non-binding agreement will be utterly worthless as soon as the real talks begin.

“The only certainty it offers is uncertainty itself. It does nothing to stop hard right Tory Brexiteers coming along at a later date to fulfil their fantasy of the hardest Brexit possible.

“Only a permanent customs union with tariff free frictionless trade will secure jobs, investment and hard won workers’ rights.”


For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

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