The new prime minister Boris Johnson must take a no deal Brexit off the table, Unite, the country’s largest manufacturing union, demanded today (Tuesday 23 July) after the latest CBI industrial trends survey showed UK manufacturing output had declined at its fastest pace in a decade.

Nineteen per cent of manufacturers said output was up and 30 per cent said it was down, giving a deficit of 11 per cent – the lowest since July 2009 when Britain had just emerged from the deep recession that followed the financial crisis.

The measure of firms’ confidence about the general business situation was 32 per cent, the lowest since July 2016, just after the EU referendum.

The figures come as Unite representatives from major manufacturers including Airbus, British Steel, BMW, GKN, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce prepare to travel to parliament tomorrow (Wednesday 24 July) to meet MPs under the banner of ‘our jobs and communities matter’ and to demand Boris Johnson takes a no deal Brexit off the table.

The Unite reps will unfurl a big banner at 11:00 opposite the Houses of Parliament at Old Palace Yard in a photo call. They will then enter parliament to brief MPs on the ‘catastrophic’ impact a no deal Brexit will have on the livelihoods of the members they represent and the industries in which they work.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The latest CBI industrial trends figures underline what Unite representatives across UK manufacturing have been saying about the Brexit uncertainty gripping manufacturing and point to the devastation a no deal Brexit will do to the livelihoods of millions of workers who depend on UK manufacturing to pay the bills and put food on the table.

“Behind these figures are real jobs and real livelihoods which are being buffeted and battered by the Brexit chaos of the Conservative party.

“The new prime minister Boris Johnson needs to heed the warning signs that these figures point to. He needs to listen to the message that Unite manufacturing reps, representing over half a million workers, will be delivering in parliament tomorrow.

“Our jobs and our communities matter, Boris Johnson must take no deal off the table and get a deal with the European Union that secures frictionless trade and tariff free access with Europe.”