Fourteen hundred Ford workers lost their jobs today while rightwingers were opening the champagne over a economic blip.
The car company is to close its Transit van factory in Southampton and the stamping and tooling plant at its Dagenham site next summer.
Unions said they were "devastated" and "gutted."
Meanwhile Chancellor George Osborne said a 1 per cent rise in GDP -fuelled largely by Olympic ticket sales - was proof the economy was "healing."
But Ford's announcement told a different story, as it meant the company is ending vehicle production in Britain after almost a century.
Ford sent the workers home for the day but those at Dagenham held a mass meeting and Southampton workers have slated one for Monday.
Ford said it hoped to cut the jobs - 500 at Southampton and the rest in Dagenham - through voluntary redundancies, enhanced employee separation and redeployment to other sites.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey accused Ford of betraying its workers and attacked its "disgraceful" handling of the news.
"Only a few months ago Ford was promising staff a new Transit model for Southampton in 2014.
"The planned closures will really hurt the local economies and the supply chain will be badly hit - up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk.
"The Transit has been the best-selling van in the UK for over a quarter of a century. It has a future in Britain if this government is prepared to fight for real jobs.
"Unite will be meeting with our own UK union representatives and our European colleagues over the coming days to discuss the next steps," said Mr McCluskey.
GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: "This is devastating news for the workers and is very bad news for UK manufacturing.
"Ford's track record in Britain is one of broken promises and factory closures. There will be a feeling of shock and anger, and Ford's commitment on investment will cut little ice."
Ford employs 11,500 people in Britain at Southampton, Dagenham, Bridgend, Dunton, Halewood and Warley.
The firm said Britain would remain a "centre of excellence."
Its Panther diesel engine will be built in Dagenham and it plans to develop its engine plant in Bridgend and design centre in Dunton.
Ford Europe boss Stephen Odell said: "We have to act quickly and decisively to address the collapse in consumer demand in Europe today and position Ford for profitable growth tomorrow."
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