UNITE boss Len McCluskey has claimed the UK is in the grip of a manufacturing emergency.

The union chief will join Swindon workers later this month on a march through the town. The event is part of a campaign that aims to persuade Honda to keep its Swindon factory. 

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Mr McCluskey said: "There is no getting away from the threats to the sector at the moment and that we are in the grip of a manufacturing emergency.

“Honda's threatened desertion is devastating but we are very clear that this is not the end of the story. While there is one hope to save these jobs and this plant, we will keep it alive."

Read more: HONDA: Let's rally behind march to stop plant closure and save thousands of jobs

He added: “The news that Honda is seeking to exit the UK rocked the very foundations of manufacturing in this country. If a company with a dedicated workforce and a strong market can walk away, then what next?"

Honda announced last month that it planned to close its South Marston plant by 2021. Around 3,500 people are employed at the factory, which manufactures the Civic car.

The Japanese car giant claimed its decision was based on changes in the global vehicle market, rather than Brexit.

The Unite march for Honda is on March 30.