Tory leadership contenders need to take a no-deal Brexit off the table to avoid driving the UK car industry off a cliff and into a ‘sea of no-deal Brexit uncertainty’ Unite said today (Thursday 27 June), after the latest car figures showed production has fallen for a twelfth month in a row.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), car production was down by a fifth in the year to date, with 557,295 new models rolling off production lines, almost 150,000 fewer compared with the same point in 2018.

A chunk of the reduction was caused by manufacturers bringing forward summer shutdowns to April in anticipation of the expected March date for the UK to leave the European Union.
Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “The latest car figures underline that a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for people working in car factories and workers in the supply chain.

“Many of these workers will be looking on in horror at the Tory leadership election and Boris Johnson’s threats to drive one of the jewels in the UK’s manufacturing crown off a cliff into a sea of no-deal Brexit uncertainty.

“This no-deal Brexit virility test of the Tory leadership contenders needs to stop. UK car makers are facing a perfect storm of global and technological challenges while grappling with continued Brexit uncertainty.

“The last thing they and car workers need is a no-deal Brexit ‘Groundhog Day’ and another round of Brexit induced plant shutdowns.

“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt need to wake up to the harm that a no-deal Brexit will have on people’s livelihoods and futures. They need to take no-deal off the table and commit to securing a customs union with the European Union which guarantees the frictionless trade and tariff free access that is central to the success of the UK car industry and wider manufacturing.”


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.