Dawn Butler MP warns ‘chaotic Brexit’ is putting Brent Central’s 10,800 manufacturing-related jobs at risk

Dawn Butler MP on a visit McVities factory in 2018. Picture: Grahame Larter

Dawn Butler MP on a visit McVities factory in 2018. Picture: Grahame Larter - Credit: Archant

The prospect of a chaotic Brexit is putting skilled manufacturing jobs and millions of pounds of investment in Brent Central’s local economy at risk, its MP has warned.

More than 6,000 people are employed in manufacturing works within Dawn Butler MP's constituency, according to figures from the GMB union, with wages worth an estimated £284m every year.

The industry also supports an additional 10,800 jobs in Brent Central's wider economy, including the supply chain.

Ms Butler, who in June visited the McVities Factory in Harlesden, said the Labour Party was "campaigning to ensure we continue to support British manufacturing and take a chaotic Brexit off the table".

Labour's shadow women and equalities secretary added: "These figures show what is at stake in the European elections.

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"Manufacturing is a crucial part of Brent's local economy - it is too valuable to risk throwing away through a chaotic Tory Brexit and our local community will be badly affected.

"We are blessed in Brent to have the manufacturing hub Park Royal, the largest business park in the UK, which not only supplies one third of all food consumed in London but provides tens of thousands of jobs for the local community.

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"We must do our upmost to protect these jobs. Many companies are already beginning to feel the adverse effects of Brexit."

One in five manufacturing employers plan on cutting jobs after Brexit, according to a 2018 survey, and the Bank of England recently warned that in the past months "investment intentions fell sharply in manufacturing, mostly due to Brexit uncertainty".

This week British Steel has gone into liquidation and chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire has fallen into administration with more than 25,000 jobs at risk.

Jude Brimble, GMB national secretary for manufacturing, said: "The prospect of a chaotic Brexit is sending a chill throughout manufacturing.

"We have already seen job losses and paused investment in foundational industries such as food manufacturing, car production and ceramics.

"The situation will only get worse if we end up with a rushed and disorderly Brexit.

"That's why it is vital that politicians from all parties rule out a no-deal Brexit that would be devastating for our manufacturing and export industries."

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