Unite officials blast Jeremy Hunt after he says businesses should keep quiet about negative impacts of Brexit

Unite officials have blasted health secretary Jeremy Hunt after he said businesses should keep quiet about the negative impacts of Brexit.

Hunt was speaking after Airbus, Seimens, BMW and UniPart issued dire warnings about the devastating consequences of a hard Brexit on their industries and the need for clarity from the government over a future deal with the EU.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr yesterday (June 24), Hunt urged industry to get behind Theresa May, saying: “It’s completely inappropriate for businesses to be making these kinds of threats.”

Responding to Hunt’s comments, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “Jeremy Hunt says it is inappropriate for Airbus etc to make “threats”.

“They are not threats – they are a response to the total chaos created and the ineptitude of the government in Brexit negotiations and he knows it. Totally irresponsible of Hunt – who is party to this shambles!”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner called for the UK to be in a customs union with the EU and to retain access to the single market.

Turner said: “With Airbus, BMW and Siemens all raising genuine concerns about both a hard Brexit in 2019 and a long-term deal with the EU, the government must listen. These are skilled jobs supporting families and communities in the real economy.”

Unite regional secretary for the South West, Peter Hughes, said Theresa May is “putting thousands of jobs at risk” with her inept handling of the Brexit process.

He said: “It’s not “threats” that Airbus, BMW and Siemens are making over Brexit. It’s very real. (The) shambolic Government are already destroying the fabric of our economy, industry and communities. Theresa May is putting the jobs of thousands at risk. Another stain in Tory history.”