Warning over UK manufacturing: over 100,000 future jobs at risk

  • A new report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) today [Wednesday] shows that over 100,000 UK manufacturing jobs will be created by the EU's single market and would be at risk if we left.
  • This comes as leading UK manufacturers launch an unprecedented warning about the future of UK manufacturing. For the first time ever, the heads of three of our biggest manufacturing companies - Siemens, Airbus and GKN - will share a platform and say investment and jobs will be at risk if Britain leaves Europe.
  • They are joined by over 100 members of the EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, who warn that leaving Europe mean UK firms would ‘certainly lose jobs’ and would cause ‘years of uncertainty’, and the Manufacturing Technologies Association, who say leaving would be “madness”.
New report on UK manufacturing jobs
  • New analysis by the CEBR shows how important the EU is for UK manufacturing. CEBR shows that there are almost 950,000 UK manufacturing jobs linked to EU trade, with tens of thousands in each region of the UK.
  • The CEBR also shows that 107,390 manufacturing jobs will be created across the country due to the deepening of the single market, by 2030.
Manufacturers’ warning
  • Leading UK manufacturers will launch an unprecedented warning about the future of UK manufacturing if Britain leaves Europe.
  • At a Britain Stronger in Europe event, the heads of Siemens, Airbus and GKN will each today [Wednesday] say that future UK manufacturing jobs would be at risk if Britain leaves the EU single market because new trade barriers will see investment decisions going against the UK and going elsewhere.
  • This warning comes from some of the largest manufacturing employers in Britain. Airbus employs 15,000 people around the country; Siemens employs 14,000; GKN employs 6,000.
  • Paul Kahn, President of Airbus Group UK, will say: “The economic disruption and uncertainty that would accompany a leave vote would inevitably impact on long-term investment decisions and, in turn, future job creation in UK manufacturing.”
  • Nigel Stein, CEO of GKN, will say: “A UK outside of the EU facing increased costs and regulatory uncertainty will lead to companies such as ours finding the UK a less attractive place to invest, which will have an impact on future jobs.”
  • Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, will say: “Being outside the EU will count against the UK when investment decisions are made and we would miss out on fantastic future opportunities and the jobs and economic prosperity that go with them.”
  • Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, will say: “Today’s warning from some of our biggest manufacturing companies is a wake-up call to our country. Leading employers are saying investment and jobs are at risk if we leave Europe. That means future generations deprived of opportunities. It means less financial security for British families. It is just not worth the risk. Britain is better off in.”
  • Rt Hon Vince Cable, Former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will say: “Over 100,000 UK manufacturing jobs will be created due to our place within the single market. Leaving the EU means those new manufacturing jobs just won’t be created. And it’s working people who will be hurt”
In addition, other industry bodies have issued warnings. The Manufacturers Organisation, the EEF, who represent companies making everything from steel to car parts and aero engines have issued a letter from over 100 businesses saying leaving Europe would make Britain “economically weaker”.
The Manufacturing Technologies Association, which represents the UK machine tools sector, say leaving the EU would be “madness”. This sector employs 10,000 workers in Britain and has a turnover of £1.6bn, of which 80 per cent is exported.
  • The Manufacturers’ Organisation, EEF, in a letter from over 100 of its members, will warn: “Many manufacturers fear Britain would be economically weaker if there is a vote to leave the EU. We could face years of uncertainty and – as most economic assessments from the IMF to the Treasury point out – we would certainly lose jobs and contracts overseas.”
  • The Manufacturing Technologies Association will say: “Unfettered access to the world’s largest market is an asset to be cherished and enhanced. Indeed, with one of the emerging trends in manufacturing being location closer to market, to risk alienating that market – our home market - would be madness.” They also challenge leave campaigners to “answer for the companies that would not survive the upheaval, the markets lost, even if temporarily, and the investment stopped, forever”.