Senior Unite activists from the East Midlands will lobby MPs tomorrow (March 12) against a “no deal” Brexit as well as the prime minister’s Brexit deal, as parliament prepares for a number of key votes over Britain’s future outside the EU.
The Unite representatives will warn MPs that both May’s Brexit plans and a no deal scenario would significantly damage key employers in the region.
The delegation – led by East Midlands regional secretary Paresh Patel and comprising Unite reps from Derby-based Toyota and Rolls Royce – coincides with the latest meaningful vote on the prime minister’s plan to leave the EU.
Patel said: “With the UK due to the leave the EU in a matter of days it is vital that MPs act in the national interest and defend our manufacturing sector.
“Anything less than a guarantee of frictionless trade will damage the productivity and viability of the primary manufacturers in the region and could have dire consequences on the economic well-being of the East Midlands.
“Our members will be using this opportunity to lobby MPs to spell out the damage that a no deal Brexit or the prime minister’s deal would have on their companies.”
The Unite delegation will argue that in order to preserve jobs it is essential that parliament agrees a deal which guarantees frictionless trade by ensuring the UK remains part of a customs union with the EU and is closely aligned with the single market.
Rolls Royce and Toyota are two of the largest employers in the region and their continued wellbeing is essential for the East Midlands manufacturing base.
Rolls Royce employs in excess of 15,000 workers and Toyota has over 4,000 employees.
Peter Tsouvallaris, Unite convenor for Toyota said: “We have been working tirelessly for the past two years to get the message across to MPs from all parties that a ‘no deal’ Brexit will be catastrophic to our members.
“History has shown us that once these high value jobs go they never come back.”
Rolls Royce Derby convenor Simon Hemmings said it was essential that MPs understand the impact of their decisions on jobs in the region.
He added: “The government deal on the table does not provide the protection we need and a ‘no deal’ Brexit seriously damages the prospect of future investment.”
MPs who the activists have arranged to meet include Conservatives Maggie Throup, Jack Brerton, Pauline Latham and Nicky Morgan.
The Labour MPs who will be lobbied include: Roger Godsiff, Gloria De Piero, Ruth Smeeth and Gareth Snell.
MPs will once again vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal tomorrow (March 12).
If May’s deal is rejected by the house, then MPs will vote on Wednesday on whether to enact a no deal Brexit.
If no deal is rejected, then MPs will vote on Thursday on extending Article 50 in order to delay Brexit past the March 29 deadline.