McCluskey warns May over single market access

Prime minister Theresa May’s comments on access to the single market will cause serious concern to Unite members the leader of Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said today (Monday 9 January).

Responding to comments by the prime minister on Britain’s exit from the European Union, Len McCluskey urged Theresa May to pursue ways to address public concerns about freedom of movement, without ‘throwing jobs and communities into jeopardy.’

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The prime minister’s comments regarding access to the single market in Brexit UK will be causing serious concern among Unite members and in manufacturing companies today.

“Hundreds of thousands of Unite members depend on the single market for their jobs. Communities up and down the country depend on trade with the European Union to sustain employment. Our automotive, aerospace, science, engineering and manufacturing industries all depend on access to the single market to sustain their status as world leaders, generating jobs, skills and revenue for the UK.

“So I am urging the prime minister to think long and hard about where she is heading with her government’s Brexit priorities. There are ways to address public concerns about freedom of movement without throwing jobs and communities into jeopardy.

“I call again for the prime minister to meet with the trade unions urgently, including Unite, about how to balance these concerns because we are at the front line of these issues. Do not freeze us out of this process because we understand that our members are angry about pressure on wages but they also want reassurances that they will continue to have jobs and our industries can thrive.

“The government must understand that people may have voted to be out of the EU, but they did not vote to be out of work.”