Letter: The Tories are putting party before country

Prime Minister Theresa May gives evidence to the Commons Liaison Committee in Portcullis House, Lond

Prime Minister Theresa May gives evidence to the Commons Liaison Committee in Portcullis House, London, where she will be pressed to give further details about her plans for Brexit. Photograph: PA Images. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Alan Quinn argues that the Conservatives are putting party before country on Brexit, jobs and manufacturing.

The recent article in The New European about the threat to our automotive industry is a stark reminder to us all about the insanity of Brexit. As my union Unite points out, one million well-paid jobs depend on this industry.

Similar dangers exist for the aerospace industry in which I work. According to the aerospace trade body ADS, 363,000 jobs plus 11,000 apprenticeships depend on the jewel in the crown of UK engineering. It has a turnover of £72 billion, with £37 billion of that exported per annum.

Under current rules on the civil side, only one certificate of confirmation (CoC) is needed per aircraft part for the Eurozone, and hundreds of thousands of parts cross borders to build the Airbus fleet of aircraft. If we then, post-Brexit had to have 27 CoC's per part then we become uncompetitive. Added to this is that some parts migrate back and forth across borders many times as other items are added to them in a very complicated supply chain across the EU.

We have recently seen the dangers of so-called 'free trade' with the US as it tried to put tariffs of 300% on Bombardier aircraft, whose wings are made in Belfast. Do we honestly think that Liam 'Air Miles' Fox could prevent this? He couldn't run a bath, never mind negotiate a complex trade deal.

The Tories do not give a damn about our UK manufacturing base, including aerospace and automotives. They are willing to sacrifice it on the altar of Brexit to enable them to achieve their ultimate goal of an offshore European sweat shop with no unions and little health and safety on one hand and a tax haven for the super-rich on the other. They are also willing to risk the Good Friday Agreement, for them it's party before country.

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Alan Quinn

Labour & Co-Op Councillor for Sedgley Ward, Prestwich

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