Calls have been made for new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take a no-deal Brexit off the table after a new survey revealed a drop in manufacturing output.

The Unite union – which has a significant number of members in the sector – has demanded Mr Johnson secures a deal with the European Union after the latest CBI industrial trends survey showed UK manufacturing output had declined at its fastest pace in a decade.

According to the survey of 291 manufacturing firms, 30 per cent said their output was down, compared to 19 per cent who said it rose – giving a balance of -11 per cent – for the quarter to July.

And 24 per cent of businesses reported a fall in new orders, along with 38 per cent reporting a decrease, giving a balance of -15 per cent compared to +5 per cent in the three months to April.

Both domestic and export orders fell at their quickest paces since the financial crisis, the CBI survey revealed, while stocks of raw materials and finished goods grew “at a noticeably slower pace in the three months to July,” it added.

Investment spending plans also weakened again.

Unite assistant general secretary, Steve Turner, said: “The latest CBI industrial trends figures underline what Unite representatives across UK manufacturing have been saying about the Brexit uncertainty gripping manufacturing and point to the devastation a no deal Brexit will do to the livelihoods of millions of workers who depend on UK manufacturing to pay the bills and put food on the table.

“Behind these figures are real jobs and real livelihoods which are being buffeted and battered by the Brexit chaos.

“The new Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to heed the warning signs that these figures point to. Our jobs and our communities matter, Boris Johnson must take no deal off the table and get a deal with the European Union that secures frictionless trade and tariff free access with Europe.”

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI, also urged Mr Johnson to strike a Brexit deal ahead of the October 31 deadline.

“As the tailwind from stockpiling weakens, clouds are gathering above the manufacturing sector. It’s being hit by the double-blow of Brexit uncertainty and slower global growth,” she said.

Ms Newton Smith said securing a deal would allow Mr Johnson to push ahead on more pressing domestic priorities including improvements to infrastructure to fixing the apprenticeship levy.

“This will allow firms to focus on investing in new technology and tackling the skill shortages that plague this sector,” she added.

The survey did, however, show some evidence of optimism going forward. Of those business surveyed, 10 per cent said they were more optimistic about the general business situation than three months ago.

However, 42 per cent were less optimistic, while optimism around the prospects for exports for the year ahead were also down compared to the previous quarter.