A soft Brexit scenario would minimise the damage, but would still result in job losses, according to forecasts.
More than 27,000 people working in the textile and clothing industry in the UK stand to lose their jobs under a no deal Brexit, research has found.
Job losses within the sector across the EU could surpass 100,000 if the Government fails to reach a Brexit deal, according to figures from Euratex, the representative body for the European textile industry.
The UK withdrew from the EU on 31 January this year, with the transition period due to end on 31 December. The Government has until this date – after which the UK will automatically leave the EU single market and Customs Union – to secure a Brexit deal.
Less damage under soft Brexit
Research by the University of Leuven in Belgium commissioned by Euratex states that 27,141 textile jobs could be lost in the UK, while a total of 101,756 roles would disappear across the EU, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
A soft Brexit scenario would minimise the damage, but would still result in job losses, according to Euratex.
In the UK, an estimated 4,759 jobs would be lost, while 17,786 people overall would end up out of work in the EU.
Euratex president Alberto Paccanelli said: “I call on political leaders on both sides to use their common sense and think about the jobs which are at stake. Our companies try to maintain employment levels, despite the impact of Covid-19. We cannot add more burden to them.”
The textile and clothing industry is one of many sectors that would likely experience significant job losses if no trade deal is reached. Separate research carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research has reportedly warned that a total of one million jobs are at risk globally.
Around 700,000 of these job losses would affect people in EU countries exporting to the UK, according to the research.
Forecasts commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders this week revealed a no-deal Brexit could cost UK carmakers £55bn over the next five years.
Supporting local textile businesses
The PCIAW® hosted a webinar on 25th November to discuss the PPE crisis with industry leaders, which included a domestic, UK-based manufacturer, Keela International who answered the call to help the government’s supply of PPE.
Samantha Fernando, Sales Director of Keela International championed the idea of committing a proportion of government contracts for PPE and other markets to local businesses, in order to retain jobs and create new opportunities within local economies and to provide resilience in supply chains.
This sentiment was echoed by Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT. The UK has a strong manufacturing base; it may not match the capacity for large volumes in contrast with industrial countries such as China, however there is a quality, reliable base which can deliver. The benefits of awarding a percentage of government contracts to local businesses can help keep the textile industry alive and to thrive.
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