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“Catastrophically damaging for manufacturing”

Unite slams Bolton statement on no deal Brexit
Ryan Fletcher, Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Donald Trump’s national security advisor has said the US supports a no deal Brexit after a meeting with Boris Johnson.


John Bolton also said the UK will be “first in line” for a trade deal with the US, however Unite warned that the right-wing nationalist is a “very dangerous man” who promises of support are not to be trusted.


Speaking yesterday (August 13) about a no deal Brexit after the meeting with Johnson, Bolton said, “We will support it enthusiastically and that’s what I am trying to convey: We are with you. We are with you.”


Bolton claimed that an accelerated free trade agreement could be done piecemeal “sector-by-sector”, with a manufacturing deal coming first.


Critics warned that the US would be in a much stronger negotiating position and would likely to be able to demand unacceptable compromises – such as opening the NHS to US firms and the lowering of food standards – from Britain.


Given the US administration’s nationalistic “America First” stance, the UK would also likely be pressured into backing the Trump’s aggressive positions concerning Iran, China and other major geo-political issues.


While a trade agreement dealing solely with manufacturing may sound attractive the prospect is likely to be treated with caution by employers pushing to retain access to the EU, UK’s biggest trading partner.


For example around 18 per cent of the UK auto exports go to the US, compared to 52 per cent which go to the EU.


Most UK cars sold in the US are luxury brands, such as Mini or JLR, which already have American sites.


The US market is also more geared towards larger vehicles like SUVs and pickups with less demand for small UK/EU cars.


Other sectoral agreements could see the NHS further privatised if the US demands that American firms are allowed market access to the NHS and the importation of chorine-washed chicken and hormone injected beef, both currently banned by the EU, into Britain.


Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said, “John Bolton is a very dangerous man. His offer of full support for a UK no deal Brexit is not a no strings attached act of solidarity.


“His support for a free trade rather than a fair trade deal will be catastrophically damaging for manufacturing.”


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