Rennie: Brexit job losses should get Labour and SNP off the fence

Commenting on new research from the People's Vote campaign showing that 220,000 Scottish jobs are at risk as a result of a botched Brexit, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"Brexit is unfolding in the most chaotic fashion possible. This is not at all what the Leave campaign promised.

"Now that the facts of Brexit are becoming clearer, it's time for Richard Leonard and Nicola Sturgeon to get their parties off the fence.

"We cannot let Brexit end up as a hard right stitch up. We need a People's Vote and the chance to exit from Brexit."

New analysis by the People’s Vote campaign today reveals that 220,000 jobs, including 32,000 jobs of trade union members in Scotland are at risk under a botched Brexit in both the private and public sectors.

The figures show that the industries worst affected by Brexit would be manufacturing, where 31,000 jobs are at risk (including at least 7,000 unionised jobs), administrative and support services, and professional, scientific and technical professions.

In the private sector the jobs most at risk are generally not those in the marginal parts of the economy where wages, skills and investment are low – but in the high value added, high skilled traded sectors of the economy where, despite long-decline, trade union membership remains high – sectors such as automotive, aerospace, chemicals and metals.

In the public sector the threat is different – not that we will be cut off from the markets and supply chains on which profitable and successful world class manufacturing industries rely – but that the decline of our world-leading export industries will do such damage to the Exchequer that Brexit will see a new, and much deeper, round of austerity.

Additionally, new analysis of official trade figures also shows that industries in Scotland with a large amount of trade union jobs would face increased costs of £700 million due to new tariffs as a result of a botched Brexit.

Industries affected include manufacturing, which would face £40 million in extra costs per year, the chemicals sector, which would face £51 million in extra costs per year, and the machinery and transport industry which would face £80 million in extra costs per year. Across all industries, 49% of Scottish goods exports go to the EU each year.

The news comes as the Trades Union Congress began its annual meeting this weekend, where it will decide the TUC position on Brexit.

As more and more facts come to light about the real impact that Brexit has on jobs and livelihoods in the UK, voices across the country are growing louder in their demand for a People’s Vote on the final deal.

Trade unions that have already backed a People’s Vote include the TSSA, Community, Prospect, and the Royal College of Nursing Additionally, the GMB Union announced its support for a vote on the final Brexit deal last week.

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