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Major UK firm to slash 'thousands of jobs' in Brexit move overseas

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
A UK manufacturer is reportedly planning thousands of redundancies. Photo: Press Association

A major UK manufacturing firm is expected to announce thousands of job losses as it moves jobs abroad because of Brexit.

A representative of Britain’s manufacturing trade body Make UK said one large firm would soon confirm a huge wave of redundancies.

Seamus Nevin, chief economist at Make UK, said it would spark “several thousand job losses,” but said a non-disclosure agreement prevented him revealing the name of the company or further details on its plans.

He made the claim as part of stark message to MPs on parliament’s Brexit committee, where he was giving evidence on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday morning.

He warned many major firms no longer regarded the UK as a stable place to operate, and were increasingly tempted to move jobs elsewhere.

READ MORE: Top UK firms warn no-deal Brexit posturing is already costing jobs

Nevin told MPs: “Hundreds of jobs have already been lost with businesses dowsizing or completely shutting down in the UK.

“I’m aware of several other examples of companies which will be doing the same in the future, including one that wil result in several thousands of job losses for one individual firm.

“If you create trade barriers between yourselves and your biggest market, you are going to encourage business to relocate.

“It is clear that creating these sorts of trade barriers craete an environment where businesses no lnoger feel the UK is a stable place to remain in business, and in a global economy they will look to move elsewhere.”

READ MORE: Firms should ‘guarantee workers 16 hours a week’

Nevin also warned there was already a “direct link” between politicians talking up no-deal Brexit and British firms losing customers and jobs.

He said there had been a “very significant number” of job losses already which he blamed directly on Brexit.

“Our members are quite blunt and very clear. They say a no-deal Brexit would be nothing short of an act of economic vandalism,” he said.

“It would undo 25 years of economic progress and consign a generation of highly skilled owrkers to the scrapheap.”