As a new poll shows rank-and-file trade unionists in Unite the Union back a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, voices from the wider Labour Movement are calling for the Labour Party to unite behind this demand and back a People’s Vote in opposition to the botched Tory hard Brexit.
YouGov’s survey of almost 1,000 members of Britain’s biggest trade union was conducted in the last week for the People’s Vote campaign and comes ahead of Unite’s policy conference in Brighton this coming week where grassroots branches have submitted no less than 13 pages of motions on Brexit.
Two of the four draft “composite” motions prepared for the debate on the conference floor support a People’s Vote while a third supports continued UK membership of the Single Market.
The poll’s findings provide clear evidence that workers are turning decisively against the bad Brexit deal emerging from political machinations in Westminster and botched negotiations in Brussels. In recent weeks five major unions – the TSSA, RCM, RCN, Prospect and the BMA – have come out in favour of a People’s Vote while the GMB and Unison, respectively the third and second biggest, have toughened their stances and backed Single Market membership.
At the same time business voices from Britain’s high-tech manufacturing sector, including Nissan, Airbus and BMW, have warned that the Brexit mess is stalling investment or even forcing them to consider withdrawing from the UK.
Commenting, Alison McGovern MP, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign – many of whose constituents work at Airbus’s Broughton plant - said:
“Senior figures from both business and trade unions are beginning to speak out on the impact of a hard Tory Brexit.
“Unite, as Britain’s biggest trade union, should stand up for its members on the biggest issue facing workers and Britain.
“I hope Unite listens to its members who are calling for a People’s Vote this week. And I hope and believe the Labour Party will respond to the overwhelming majority of our members who see giving the the public the right to a democratic vote on the final Brexit deal is the only way we’re going to sort out the mess the Government has made of this process.”
Key findings of the poll show that Unite members:
- Support a People’s vote on the final Brexit deal by a margin of 57 to 34 per cent (even 24 per cent of those who voted Leave agree with this demand).
- Prefer prioritising free trade with the EU to limiting immigration by a margin of more than two to one – 61 to 30 per cent.
- Believe Britain will be worse off outside the Single Market by a margin of 58 to 21 per cent.
- Think that they and their family will suffer if Britain leaves the Single Market – with just 14 per cent believing they be better off.
- Say leaving the Single Market will be bad for jobs by a margin of 57 to 18
- Know Brexit is being botched – with just 1 per cent saying the process is going very well
The full poll can be found here.
Notes to editors
- The poll was conducted by You Gov between June 27 and June 30 among 913 Unite members. The full polling data is attached.
- Details of motions submitted to Unite’s policy conference can be found here. http://unitealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Final-Agenda-Unite-Policy-Conference-2018-1.pdf The draft composites - which are created by stitching together parts of the submitted motions are here: http://unitealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Policy-Conference-2018-Proposed-Draft-Composites.pdf
- Unite’s policy conference runs from 2 – 6 July in Brighton: http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/events/fifth-unite-policy-conference-2018/