Former CBI head Digby Jones claimed during the 2016 EU referendum campaign that “not a single job” would be lost due to Britain leaving the EU. He was reminded of this claim by BBC Radio 5 Live host Emma Barnett yesterday, and did not take kindly to the suggestion that he was in need of the nearest fire extinguisher.
Oh no they aren't!
It wasn’t due to Brexit, he claimed, but the ineptitude of those elites of which he just happened to be a member. Ms Barnett was unimpressed. “You stand by a statement that’s no longer true. Those jobs have been lost, people are losing jobs because of uncertainty”. She quoted the example of Silicon Roundabout in East London: “there is going to be no more investment in particular startups. That’s a job loss”.
Oh yes they are
Jones wriggled. “Right, but it’s nothing to do with Brexit, it’s everything to do with the uncertainty caused by the debate about Brexit”. Ms Barnett claimed he was just playing with semantics. His parting shot was to tell her “you don’t sit in boardrooms like me”, which may come as a relief to her, if he’s typical of what inhabits them.
But let me put the Good Lord straight on those job losses he claims are not happening. As Edwin Hayward had told (see his full Twitter thread HERE),
Barden Corporation is closing down its Plymouth factory after 51 years - 400 jobs at risk.
European Medical Agency (EMA), Europe's medicines regulator, is moving from London to Amsterdam. 900 jobs involved (total: 1300).
Schaeffler, a car parts company, is closing its factory in Llanelli, Wales, because of Brexit, affecting 220 jobs (total: 1520).
Standard Chartered has applied to turn its Frankfurt branch into its EU subsidiary. It initially expected to move 20 jobs (total: 1540).
France's top banks are moving 500 jobs out of London due to Brexit (total: 2040).
The European Banking Agency (EBA) - the banking regulator for the EU - moved its operations from London to Paris, affecting 160 staff (total: 2200).
Credit Suisse is moving 250 jobs to Germany, Madrid and elsewhere in the EU27, including Luxembourg (total: 2450).
Nomura is moving about 100 staff to a new Frankfurt office (total: 2550).
Morgan Stanley is growing its Paris team in parallel to transferring certain roles to Frankfurt. 200 jobs involved (total: 2750).
95 job losses were announced at Wright Group, a Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturer, in June 2018 (its founder was a Leave supporter). Total: 2845.
The Philips Avent factory in Suffolk is to close with a loss of around 500 jobs (total: 3345).
That list does not include all the relocation of head offices. It does not include the jobs lost as a knock-on effect of those losses listed. It does not include the effects of investment reductions in industries where no decision on job losses has yet been made - like that which manufactures cars. Moreover, all those losses are before Britain leaves the EU.
So many thousands more can be added to that total, and many thousands will follow after the end of March, whatever certainly Digby Jones sees at the end of his tunnel.
There’s no use pretending it isn’t happening. Because it most certainly is happening.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at