Unite has praised the Mayor of London for carrying out the first taxpayer-funded Brexit impact studies, after it was revealed the government had neglected to do so.
The research, commissioned by Sadiq Khan after Brexit secretary David Davis was forced to admit the impact assessments he claimed had been carried out do not exist, found the UK economy could take a £54bn hit by 2030 depending on the final deal agreed next year.
Commenting on the findings, Unite said they showed the need for Labour’s “jobs first Brexit” which includes a longer transition period to protect the predicted 482,000 livelihoods at risk if a transition deal is not secured.
The impact assessments, undertaken by Cambridge Econometrics, considered a range of scenarios including leaving the single market, leaving the customs union, leaving both and crashing out of the EU with no transition deal – described in the study as a “hard Brexit”.
‘Lost decade of growth’?
Khan said, “If the government continue to mishandle the negotiations we could be heading for a lost decade of lower growth and lower employment
“The analysis concludes that the harder the Brexit we end up with, the bigger the potential impact on jobs, growth and living standards.”
Under a hard Brexit the reports states that 120,000 financial and professional services jobs could be lost, along with 92,000 science and technology roles and 43,000 construction positions.
Even a softer exit, with the UK staying within the single market but leaving the customs union following a transition period, could result in 176,000 fewer jobs by 2030, along with a loss of £20bn of investment, according to the report.
“Thankfully Sadiq Khan has provided a service the government is too inept or deceptive to carry out. David Davis’ so called ‘impact assessments’ were nothing of the sort and his merry-go-round with the Brexit committee about what they actually contained demonstrate how ill-prepared this government is for the challenges ahead,” said Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.
“The Tories’ shambolic handling of Brexit means crashing out of the EU without a deal is now much more likely. Theresa May is being held hostage by a handful of hard Brexiteers, who, as the research commissioned by the Mayor of London shows, will quite happily lead the country into economic disaster in pursuit of their right-wing fantasises.
Turner added, “Only the Labour Party can deliver a jobs first Brexit. Their plan for a longer transition period that retains the benefits of the single market and the customs union would ensure that countless livelihoods are protected from being needlessly thrown on the bonfire.”