Socialist Worker

Brexit ‘chaos’ warnings are an excuse to attack workers

Issue No. 2672

Mini

Workers at the Mini plant in Oxford are facing a pay cut  (Pic: Adrian Pratt/Flickr)


Big business is ratcheting up pressure on the Tories over a no-deal Brexit.

The luxury car manufacturer BMW said it would shut its Mini plant in Cowley, Oxford, for two days if Britain leaves without a deal on 31 October.

But workers at the plant fear that they could go for two weeks without pay—not just on 31 October and 1 November.

The plant previously shut down ahead of the missed Brexit deadline in March.

Brexit is not a key cause of the crisis in the car industry
Brexit is not a key cause of the crisis in the car industry
  Read More

Tories and bosses would use the initial shock of a no-deal Brexit to push through more austerity and squeeze workers. Whatever the impact, bosses would try to make workers bear the cost.

The problems in the car industry are part of a global crisis of overproduction, not Brexit.

Bosses have slashed thousands of jobs across North America and Europe in the last year—and far greater numbers have been lost in Germany than Britain.

BMW’s plans came as the Tories were forced to publish a document outlining contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit. Known as Yellowhammer, it predicts some food and medicine shortages, miles of tailbacks in the port of Dover and price rises.

It’s not possible to know if the predictions are correct.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Yellowhammer showed Johnson is “prepared to punish those who least can afford it”.

Unfortunately, Labour and the union leaders have largely couched their opposition to a no-deal Brexit in terms of what’s good or bad for big business.


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