Unite: Brexit and falling wages to blame for manufacturing car-crash

Unite has warned the jewel in Britain’s manufacturing crown is at risk because of Brexit uncertainty and falling wages.

The union’s comments come as production figures showed the number of cars made in British factories destined for the UK market had plunged 28% to 24,276 in the last month.

Today’s figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show falling domestic demand for a fourth month in row, while cars destined for the export market rose by 1.3%.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “This is awful news in the run-up to Christmas for the British car industry and the UK economy. The continued falling demand in the UK market because of Brexit uncertainty and falling wages is yet more evidence of the government’s economic incompetence.

“When other economies around the world are motoring ahead, the UK is stuck in the slow lane hobbled by the biggest squeeze in wages since the Napoleonic era. Meanwhile uncertainty around Brexit is leaving motor manufacturers stalling on the investment needed to maintain Britain’s world leading status in car making.

“The motor industry is the jewel in the UK’s manufacturing crown, sustaining communities with decent well paid jobs. Government ministers need to rid themselves of their economic complacency and tackle falling incomes which are putting people’s wallets and the UK economy into reverse.”

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