Prentis says ‘no-deal Brexit’ would be disastrous for workers

General secretary tells Black members’ conference that UNISON is vital in the fight against an ‘incompetent and malicious’ government

“A no-deal Brexit would be a catastrophe for ordinary working people.”

That was at the heart of the message from UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis to the union’s Black members’ conference today, when he addressed delegates in Llandudno.

He began by thanking members for everything they do “for Black workers in our union and for all the members of our union too,” aided by its many strong Black leaders.

Having braved Llandudno Junction earlier that day, where he’d shared a platform with 100 delegates as they waited in the freezing cold for a train, he quipped, to great laughter: “The things you do for UNISON!”

But more seriously, he stressed that the union was “loud, proud and yes, the biggest in the UK”.

Mr Prentis lambasted the likes of arch-Brextieer and MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is a partner in a company that he co-founded and which is moving to Ireland, where it will continue to benefit from membership of the European Union, at the same time as the Conservative backbencher schemes for a hard Brexit.

And it was to cheers and applause that Mr Prentis declared that, if the UK is rushing toward a cliff edge, then “I can see no alternative to a second referendum”.

Describing the Conservative government as one that “veers wildly between incompetence and malice,” he said that “injustice in all its forms … can be beaten.

“There is strength in numbers, and I am confident in the power of working people. Fighting for better pay, better conditions and better treatment of all public service workers. For better public services – and a better country.”