The head of the TUC and the chief of Britain’s manufacturing employers’ organisation have joined together to warn that leaving the EU would be a “terrible gamble”.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, and Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, are publishing today (Wednesday) a joint statement that sets out the potential loss in manufacturing trade, and the knock on effects for business and employees, should Britain leave the EU.
In the unusual move, the employer and trade union bodies jointly call for a renewed focus in the final days of the campaign on the economic reality of a decision to leave the EU, and the impact it would have on working people and the businesses that employ them.
The joint statement by Frances O’Grady and Terry Scuoler says:
“The EU is Britain’s biggest export market, with 47 per cent of all UK goods making their way across the Channel. That’s worth £134 billion a year. Employers and workers up and down the land – 1.7 million jobs in manufacturing alone - depend on EU trade.
“The Treasury estimates that Brexit would mean losing up to 13 per cent of manufacturing trade with the EU – endangering a quarter of a million well-paid jobs.
“We hope there will be a renewed focus in the remaining days of the campaign on the economic reality of the decision voters will make on June 23, and its impact on them as working people and on the businesses that employ them.
“Leaving would be a terrible gamble, amounting to playing poker with people's jobs, businesses and the country's economic stability.
“On this issue, manufacturing employers and trade unions are as one. Britain is better off remaining in the EU.”
Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, added: “Manufacturing employers and the TUC share concerns about the significant risks posed by leaving the EU. These risks apply to both employers and employees alike, so when people make their choice this Thursday it is important that they know this. It is about the economic reality of the enormous decision we are all being asked to make. The implications are far-reaching and people must be clearly informed about them before making a choice.”
Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, added: “The manufacturing sector is a strong source of high quality jobs. The average wage for manufacturing jobs is £100 a week higher than in the services sector. We cannot afford to put these jobs at risk. The TUC is in no doubt that the best thing for jobs, wages and rights at work is for the UK to remain in the EU.”