Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite warned that the economy was heading for the deep freeze as latest figures showed manufacturing going into recession amid falling business investment.

Responding to today’s (Monday 11 February) economic growth and output figures, Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Tuner said: “All the warning signs are pointing to the economy heading for the deep freeze thanks to the government’s mishandling of the economy and Brexit uncertainty. 

“The last time manufacturing output fell for six months in a row was during the financial crisis in 2008, while business investment is also down for the fourth quarter in row.

“With automotive and steel driving the downturn in manufacturing, government ministers need to get a grip and put UK steel at the heart of a turbo charged industrial strategy that supports decent jobs and UK plc.

“This must include government ministers guaranteeing the use of UK steel in major infrastructure projects and building the Royal Navy’s new solid support vessels in UK shipyards.

“The government also needs to take action on the dumping of cheap steel and inferior tyres from overseas.

“As these figures demonstrate, reducing tariffs to zero on all imports in the event of a no deal Brexit, as some suggest, would be an act of economic vandalism that would threaten jobs and leave UK manufacturers competing with both hands tied behind their backs.

“Government ministers need to hear the alarm bells that are ringing throughout the UK’s manufacturing communities and support British industry by taking a no deal Brexit off the table and securing tariff free frictionless trade with Europe.”


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

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web:

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.