Blog : Brexit – what next for the UK’s motor industry?

Ian Nicholls


Now that the divisive EU referendum has been settled, attention turns to what happens next. Where, then, does the British motor industry stand?

Much of the British motor industry has been rebuilt in the past 30 years with a focus on attaining access to the EU Single Market. Out of the ashes of the British Leyland debacle has come substantial foreign investment combined with the managerial expertise that BL so sorely lacked. In 2015 Britain built 1.6 million cars.

The big question confronting the British motor industry is whether it will continue to have access to the EU Single Market without having to incur prohibitive tariffs that render its products uncompetitive? The nightmare scenario is that the EU will punish Britain for voting to leave and erect a tariff wall against British automotive imports, thus forcing the major UK-based motor manufacturers to re-locate to within the Single Market – needless to say this would result in serious job losses.

A counter argument is that Britain is such a major market for European motor manufacturers, particularly Germany, that pressure will be brought to bear on EU leaders to maintain the status quo – whether they listen is another matter.

So what is being said by the UK based manufacturers?

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: ‘The British public has chosen a new future out of Europe. Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests. This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets, ensuring we can recruit talent from the EU and the rest of the world and making the UK the most competitive place in Europe for automotive investment.’

Back in February 2016 Nissan UK, which employs 8000 people in Britain across its Sunderland factory, Cranfield engineering centre and Paddington design base, and supports a further 32,000 jobs nationwide indirectly through dealerships and its supply chain, said: ‘We have a rich heritage in the UK, with 30 years of manufacturing and engineering presence, and remain committed to building and engineering cars in the country. Last year we produced more than 475,000 vehicles in the UK – 80 per cent of which are exported.

‘Our preference as a business is, of course, that the UK stays within Europe – it makes the most sense for jobs, trade and costs. For us, a position of stability is more positive than a collection of unknowns. While we remain committed to our existing investment decisions, we will not speculate on the outcome nor what would happen in either scenario.

‘We obviously want the Nissan UK plant and engineering centre to remain as competitive as possible when compared with other global entities, and each future investment opportunity will be taken on a case by case basis, just as it is now.’

The day after the EU referendum the company had this to say: ‘We will not be commenting at this time.’

Honda, which has its UK plant in Swindon, stated it remained ‘committed’ to its business in Europe as preparations continue for its Civic launch from Swindon. A spokesman said: ‘At this moment, it is not clear what conditions and rules will ultimately replace the UK’s membership of the EU. We will therefore carefully monitor developments. We continue to prepare for the production launch of the 10th generation Civic from our Swindon plant. Honda remains committed to its business in Europe.’

BMW UK, which makes the MINI in the UK, said: ‘While it is clear there will now be a period of uncertainty, there will be no immediate change to our operations in the UK. Today, we know that many of the relevant conditions for supplying the European market will have to be re-negotiated, but of course we cannot say what this means for our UK operations until those future regulatory and legislative arrangements are agreed.’

Ford, which still has a substantial UK presence, said: ‘We will continue working toward this goal with key stakeholders in the UK and across the other Member States and EU institutions to ensure they understand our concerns which mirror those of the majority of the UK and European auto industry.

‘While Ford will take whatever action is needed to ensure that our European business remains competitive and keeps to the path toward sustainable profitability, we have made no changes to our current investment plans and will not do so unless there is clear evidence that action is needed.’

General Motors’ UK arm, Vauxhall, had this to say about its Ellesmere Port factory. ‘It’s business as usual at Ellesmere Port. The plant is a key operation in Opel Group’s European manufacturing portfolio. To suggest that it may close is pure speculation without any foundation.

‘It is important for Vauxhall that negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU are concluded in a timely manner. It is also important that business continues to benefit from the free movement of goods and people during this period. Communication on the development of the future relationship with the EU should also be clear and transparent. We fully support remaining part of the European Economic Area.’

This was, in part, a response to comments from the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, who said: ‘General Motors have factories in Spain and Germany, the idea that they are going to be willing to pay tariffs to carry on making cars in Ellesmere Port and keep the workforce here is unrealistic.

‘They will simply close the factory and move production to Spain or Germany. Investment comes to our city region because businesses know we have access to the Single Market.’

Toyota, which manufactures at Burnaston, said: ‘Going forward we will closely monitor and analyse the impact on our business operations in the UK and how we can maintain competitiveness and secure sustainable growth together with the UK automotive industry and other stakeholders.’

What does the future hold for the British motor industry? Only time will tell…

Nissan's most successful model ever produced selling well over 2 million since 2007. And where exactly was this record breaking car developed, engineered and designed? Bedfordshire.
Nissan UK’s most successful model ever – more than two million have been sold since 2007
Ian Nicholls
Latest posts by Ian Nicholls (see all)


  1. Why should Europe’s most efficient and orderly car manufacturing plants unduly worry? They threatened to leave if we didn’t join the Euro. We didn’t and they stayed.

    I’ve also seen wholesale losses of automotive jobs in the UK as suppliers shifted production jobs to Eastern Europe, Turkey and the like. Cheap labour and free trade moved those jobs abroad. That and the fact you could dispose of a British worker far cheaper than a European worker meant we suffered unfairly.

    Factories previously for tier 2 and 3 suppliers were knocked down and turned into warehouses. Nobody commented on those losses did they? No, that was Globalisation. The EU subsidised those building transformations incidentally.

    I’ve also seen admin and HR jobs from British manufacturers move to Romania and Hungry during the EUs rise and rise. Ford pulled out of UK vehicle assembly with EU money. Likewise GM, who now cry that they cannot source enough parts from Britain. But secretly they know we build cars well with an intelligent and diligent work force. Both have also closed European factories, but at a far greater expense.

    So given that the EU destroyed more British Automotive manufacturing jobs that it created, I’m optimistic. If Toyota and Honda cry off, then its crocodile tears, they’re chasing government funding or a diminishing market share but won’t admit to it.

    And lets not get into political speculation (fact?) that other EU counties illegally subsidised their home grown car design and manufacture while we bladdered our indigenous companies for the sake of playing by the rules.

    I best stop here……but as someone who’s been made redundant by a UK manufacturer and watched his job go abroad you better believe I’m bitter. And informed.

    • Steven,

      Like you are doing now, I’ve been banging that drum for years.

      Trouble is as is evidenced with not just some of the replies in response to your post. but to a much greater extent elsewhere, there are a huge number of Brits who simply just don’t get it.

      It’s what we do as a Nation. Correction, it’s what we did as a Nation up until June 23rd.

      I believe we still have sufficient quantities of the “Right Stuff” in this Nation to not only survive outside the increasingly more parasitical womb that the EU has evolved into, but, to actually both thrive and prosper outside of it.

      We as a Nation need to look more closely at the globalisation mullarkey. Over on another blogg I follow someone working in engineering with one of our “friends” on the mainland, had his suggestion rejected on the basis that it is their sensible option to continue moving all productive manufacturing from the UK to the European Mainland. Guess where. Got it in one. Germany!

      • But – Japanese transplant companies only came here because we where in the EU and being in the EU has hardly stopped the likes of JLR trading globally. China and the US are their largest export market and they have opened manufacturing facilities in India and Brazil. Its a false flag to suggest leaving the EU will help or hinder this or prevent future job transfers to other countries. Biggest threat I guess is what happens next. If that chancer and CV liar Andrea Loathsome becomes PM the final nail will be driven and you can forget having a government that takes any interest at all in UK manufacturing.

    • They might soon have to pay extra duty to import cars to Europe which the didn’t have to pay before.

  2. As you left out JLR here’s their view:

    “We are a British business with a strong manufacturing base in this country, we call Britain home and we remain committed to all our manufacturing sites and investment decisions.

    “We respect the decision of the British people and in common with all other businesses, JLR will analyse the issues arising from it – as of today, nothing has changed for us or the rest of the British automotive industry.”

    Oh, and the expansion of Whitley is still on track.

  3. I work in a large engineering company supplying the auto industry, and today the decision was made to postpone any UK investment indefinitely as of today. This is going to directly affect the UK workers here. So very sad.

    • Holding fire on Investment. That’s an obvious wise business decision which in an ever changing world, can be sensibly taken at any time. The LEAVE change is simply another thing to consider.

      Message to any naysayers. Just looked out of the window. The Sky has not fallen in …. yet .. 🙂

      Stand firm, ride out the flack and get it done Team UK. Will take time, lots of hard work and planning but the longer term benefits are worthwhile and never immediate… obviously.

      I have enjoyed watching the three main UK Media News Channels over the past few days. Less so the BBC now who are tainting much of their “wrath” stuff with a heavy lefty negative slant. The commercial channels much less of the “wrath” stuff. Too many of their key BBC position staff with influence not in front of the cameras recruited from left biased Newspaper Vacancy Advertisements. That’s not my opinion but what a close relative told me who spent most of their career working behind the scenes at the BBC London. I used to argue against that left bias for years but, in recent years, looks like my relative was right all along.

      Cheer up those disappointed by yesterday’s result. It’s not the end of civilisation as we know it.

      The sky has turned a tad darker but has not fallen in yet. Just a few spots of light rain.

      Right … some International Football to consider. Several UK teams still left in to progress to play Johnnie EU Foreigner. Good eh…

      C’mon you … Brits.

  4. To Steven Ward:

    I hope you’re right, and everything goes swimmingly from now on.

    But cheap labour and free trade won’t simply go away if we leave the EU. And how will it change the fact that it’s easier to make someone here redundant than it is in say, France?

    The EU will have match funded with UK national and local government money projects to regenerate (and create employment) where factories have already closed. Outside the EU the a new post-EU government may choose to do this sort of thing, or it may not.

    We do build cars with a diligent and intelligent workforce, although increasingly we need the skills of those from overseas to supply the numbers required. Indeed we’ve benefited from the help of management and engineers from overseas. But we’re not the only country with such a workforce.

    I don’t think you’ve properly explained that the EU ‘destroyed more manufacturing jobs than it created.’ And I’m not sure why you’ve got it in for Toyota and Honda, who’ve created a lot of employment in the UK, and why would they be ‘chasing diminishing market share?’ And government subsidy? They’d struggle under EU rules to get any UK government help because they’re large companies.

    And as for our domestic industry, hasn’t the problem since the 1960s until recently been a lack of investment and poor management, nothing to do with EU membership.

  5. As Ian said at the end, only time will tell.

    But time is a factor: The longer negotiations take, the longer the period of uncertainity. Some international companies will surely hold back major investments in the UK before there will be a clear path into the future. From this point of view I cannot understand why the current UK goverment does not want to start the process immediatly, but waste at least a complete quarter to sort the internal problems of the conservative party. THAT smacks of traditional lack of managment ability – just like in the old BL days.

    Personally I don’t think (and hope!) that the UK car industry will suffer heavily. Other areas will suffer much more and probably more immediate, e.g. the EU is one of the biggest single source of research funds for universities all around Europe. I know the impact of EU money not being available for the University here in Aachen would be very severe.

    To me yesterday was a very sad day.

    • Alexander,

      I agree with your first para but I have to take issue in the second para with your statement that “the EU is one of the biggest single source of research funds for universities…”

      Where on earth do you think EU funds come from? Some separate magic money tree in Brussels? Of course not. “EU funds” are just recycled national taxpayers’ funds. Freed from EU membership fees (has someone cancelled our Direct Debit to Brussels yet, BTW…?) we can cover all our EU funding gap and still have change to spare to pay down our massive and unsustainable debts.

  6. I voted for remain because I feared the nightmare scenario outlined in the blog, but I suspect that many like me had otherwise grave misgivings about the EU.
    How was an organisation intended for the free movement of trade to everyone’s mutual benefit allowed to balloon to an all encompassing bureaucracy able to overrule national parliaments? How did it happen?
    I disagreed totally with virtually everything the late Tony Benn stood for, but he warned about surrendering sovereignty to the EU for forty years, maybe he was right?
    While the leave campaign gloat about their victory, we must remember it was extremely narrow, and in the years ahead the pendulum could swing the other way.
    If the nightmare scenario is played out the advocates of leave could go from hero to zero, it happened to Tony Blair who once looked omnipotent.
    June 23rd 2016 has been dubbed Independence day, it might become relocation day.

    • Ian,

      I will agree with you that not everything is right about the EU in current times. We will surely agree to not agree on certain things – but that does not matter now. I think your blog (as well as the one from February) is well balanced – unlike much of the debate I have watched unfolding in the UK over the last months.

      Personally speaking a particular sad aspect of the vote was that the old voted against the plans and hopes of the young. These, who will be the main stay of the nation for the coming decades have been overrooled.

    • “I voted for remain because I feared the nightmare scenario outlined in the blog, but I suspect that many like me had otherwise grave misgivings about the EU.”
      – Ian, this sums up my position, thinking behind my vote to remain. I also voted “remain in” because I felt I simply did not know enough to vote for change. I doubt experts who knew all the pros & cons could have quantified the outcomes of leaving or staying.

      “How was an organisation intended for the free movement of trade to everyone’s mutual benefit allowed to balloon to an all encompassing bureaucracy able to overrule national parliaments? How did it happen? ” – How indeed?!

  7. I believe that Steven Ward’s analysis explains in a few paragraphs exactly why we are out of the EU – and all the indications are that others will follow . I spoke to representatives of the Spanish and Portuguese wine industries last week, and was astonished to hear that they were hoping for a vote for UK to leave, because it would strengthen their case for similar referenda in the Iberian peninsula . The sentiment expressed in unmistakeable terms was that they were fed up with Merkel’s Germany calling the shots . I would be very surprised if the EU does not disintegrate, and it can all be put down to the overweaning desire of mostly unelected, corrupt and utterly incompetent people to control the destiny of the diverse peoples of a continent . Also, I do not regard the majority decision as extremely narrow, as Ian Nicholls describes it. If Scotland and NI are excluded ( both of which had an enormous vested interest in the gravy train continuing in their favour) it was a very significant proportion of the population which voted for leaving , and if the metropolitan areas are excluded, there was as near unanimity as it is possible to get in a democracy.

    • @christoper storey,

      Not to derail the original post too much… but the whole point of a democracy is you kind of can’t exclude the whole of Scotland, NI and Metropolitan areas. the vote was 52-48… you can hardly call that unanimous.

      • James, was there ever a UK General Election or Referendum where the vote was unanimous? Don’t bother answering, we know the answer. After all, even the Northern Ireland and Scottish Referendum returns were well short of Unanimous.

        I voted OUT with pleasure fully anticipating our so called “friends” on the EU Mainland would not like that result and that those same “friends” will run true to form and continue to make things difficult for us and not have the UK’s best interests at heart ever.

        There’s a rising swell in France for their own Referendum.. It was there long before any mention of a a UK Referendum. UK’s vote for OUT has accelerated French calls for their own Referendum.

        I have a question. Do we still have an indigenous UK Motor Industry owned by Brits … Excepting Morgan as Soichiro Honda once said.

        Sadly, even not allowing for Human Nature and self interest, nothing lasts forever and with so much of UK’s Motor and other Manufacturing Industry in Foreign ownership and control, it could be only a matter of time. Yes, time before they all upsticks and locate elsewhere. The Japanese Manufacturers with bases here threatened to do so occasionally in the distant past and more recently. When it suits them, not us, they will be gone. They will still wish to sell their product built elsewhere here at our hefty profit margins though.

        Nothing lasts forever..

        TATA for now.

  8. Further to my above.

    By the way, I was far from alone when not expecting the good folks of Sunderland to vote the way they did. Delighted to be wrong about that. Good to see some quality Tru-Brit stuff lurking in the North East. Well done them.

    I now wonder if our many “friends” on mainland EU will run true to form and make our EXIT less difficult, nay, trouble free for us. Of course I’m deadly serious about that. OK, that’s a lie…:-) Guilty M’Lud.

  9. The EU has only itself to blame for the BREXIT vote. The concept of a free trade bloc was a good one, turning it into a European superstate was not. Forcing member states to make a financial contribution was asking for trouble. There was always going to be controversy over who paid what and where it was allocated. A free trade bloc it might be, but the various member states are in economic competition with each other. Forcing member states to become subservient to Brussels, regardless of what their domestic parliaments thought, was a recipe for disaster.
    The EU needs a rethink of what it is actually for and needs to return to its roots as a free trade bloc with sovereignty returned to national parliaments.

  10. I reluctantly voted Remain as my job is partly dependent on being in the EU and also I worried that the EU would bring back the 17 per cent tariff on British cars that existed until 1973 and other factors such as foreign holidays becoming more expensive. However, the EU had become too big, the Euro has been a disaster, countries could no longer control their own borders and some of the EU regulations were petty and ignored by other members. Apart from people like Nigel Farage, who is a wannabe president of Britain, a lot of people in Leave had good arguments, but I voted Remain on fears for my future and for trade.

  11. Plenty of evidence here and far more elsewhere that remainers voted from a narrow focus self-interest viewpoint rather than the overall bigger picture benefit for the Nation….AS A WHOLE. The later is what I did as there’s a better chance of all benefiting rather than a smaller proportion remaining thereof.

    Reassuring that so many also had Team UK in mind. … 4% difference of millions saw it that way too.

    • MGJohn
      You are implying that it was unpatriotic to vote for remain, that we were only looking after no.1.
      Is it unpatriotic not to want a possible mass relocation of industry to the continent, is it unpatriotic not to see sales opportunities slip through our grasp?
      That has been the main problem with this whole debate, the branding of remain supporters as unpatriotic. The true test is the the length of the dole queue and the damage it can do to the social fabric of this country. If the leave campaign have got it wrong, their leaders will become pariahs, if they have got it right they will be venerated. Only time will tell.

      • Please open your eyes wider Ian and have a good look around you. As I have been doing over the past four decades as I travel and work around many parts of the UK. All that after voting YES to join the common market back in 1975.

        Mass relocation you say. Been going on to the Landmass known as Mainland Europe since the days of and including Thatcher right under our clueless noses and still continues. Foreign Investment and ownership here. How much of our taxes was used to induce all this foreign “investment”. Need to know basis Ian.

        EU funds ( ie OUR taxes ) was used toi aid the transition of FORD Transit Production to Turkey from Hampshire.That added further to the already very long queues of unemployed even after massive data massaging to produce a lower unemployed figure. Massaged figures to effectively pull the wool over the eyes of those determined not to see the real picture. Next you’ll be telling me that crimes are down. No it’s not, RECORDED crime is down. Spot the difference if you can.

        OK … you win… I’m wrong. TATA for now. Now when it suits, I’m off outa here and you boo sucks to all those without a job. Tough mammories and all that. I’m alright jack … for now … 🙁

  12. Whether leaving is a good idea or not, the problem is the uncertainty over the next few years and the time and effort needed to unpick and renogitate our relationship with the EU. Plus I feel very sad the UK is turning its back on Europe. But it’s an interesting point that even having been in the EU hasn’t stopped firms from moving production elsewhere. The key is to know what our unique selling point as a country is. Up till now, it’s been that combination of skilled workers, English language and EU membership. What will it be in future?

    • “the problem is the uncertainty over the next few years and the time and effort needed to unpick and renegotiate our relationship with the EU”

      Exactly, Doc! Some time in the future, the exit decision may turn out to be a positive but the difficulties in the meantime!!

  13. @ DoctorD, one scenario could be the 17 per cent tariff being reintroduced on British cars by the EU, which would harm exports. This could harm the car industry and force companies to move abroad, or Britain to introduce tariffs as a retaliation, meaning that people would have to pay more for new cars. However, I am optimistic as German cars are so popular over here and British cars like the Mini and the Nissan Juke are so popular in Europe, this wouldn’t happen.

    • @Glenn Aylett The point is, we just don’t know and it’s this unnecessary uncertainty that is why vote leave was such a bad, bad decision.

      • Uncertainty DD. You can keep the known certainty that had we remained, that would be a delight to those Brussels EU types who would jump for joy at UK’s continuing milch cow sustenance of the ailing EU model.

        They would then have a more secure and firmer hold on our continuing and ever increasing contributions… painfully by our financial short and curlies.

        BREAKING NEWS… EU uncertainty means those “interested” in any TATA buy out are withdrawn. A very convenient back out excuse or bargaining tool. Had any been really determined, a deal would have been done and dusted long ago.

        Still fresh in my mind were those foreign concerns showing interest in the much asset stripped and cherry picked remnants of the previously asset rich Rover Group known as MG-Rover back in 2005. Nothing done and the Chinese picked it all up for peanuts when the receivers were called in. Boy oh boy did the then Government turn their backs on the thousands of their “Bruvvers” with total lack of support. By then of course the remnant firm was in Private, not Public ownership.

        It’s what “we” do… :rolleyes:

        As a result of that, I have never supported that Political shower ever since and never again will do so. It’s what I do.

    • I think under WTO rules the max tariff is 10 % for automobiles.
      And I think 3% for other items.
      Not 100% sure on this.

  14. But Doctor D , are you saying that we should have stayed , and become ever more subservient to Brussels/Strasbourg, or even more sinisterly, to Germany , and that that would have been a good thing ? For me the issue was one of sovereignty . In 1975 I voted to join what was then the EEC. As Ian Nicholls has said, what is now the EC is unrecognisable by comparison, and given the opportunity to play a part in smashing the putative German empire to pieces, I took it with both hands , and I ( and it seems some 17.4 million other people ) , make no apology whatsoever for doing so

  15. Scrap all that… on second thoughts, I wish I had voted REMAIN.

    I too am one of the 800,000 UK buyers of German Cars* annually ( good for the economy ) who prefers not to pay more for my next new German car. Not to mention my European Holiday costing a few quid more. These things are really important to me … Bollards to the Nation as a whole … it’s all about me, me, and me.

    Good for the economy and helps ailing German Manufacturing as they struggle all the way to their banks under the weight of their massive trading surpluses.

    *OK that’s a lie. I have never bought a new German car… only new British ones. I’m funny like that… :rolleyes:

  16. In my opinion Britain has made a very selfish, stupid and shortsighted choice on June 23rd and has opened a boxload of problems, of which the manufacturing industry is only a small part.
    The biggest problem to me is that the Xenophobes have won. People who hate other people because they look different and/or have another religion. We have a lot of those on the continent too. Austria, Germany (A New Dawn for Germany), France, Italy and of course my fellow countryman Geert Wilders, spring to mind. Al those biggots think they don’t need Europe and that everything will be better without the Eu. For us (Holland) it means back to the Dutch Guilders, close our borders and back to the life of the 1950’s. Safe behind our dikes, like there’s no internet…
    Another problem is a divided Europe is a weakened Europe. I think Putin is laughing his ass of right now. The power of Europe is that we are (or were) united in some way or another. Now, I’m afraid, this will end in a few years. And I think we need each other more now than ever. Has anyone ever thought about the possibility that Trump might be the USA’s next president. He’s one aggressive fool. Than we also have Putin, Kim Jung Un, the middle-east and Erdogan. And right on cue Europe falls apart…
    Interesting fact about those Xenophobes in Europe: they are mostly middle-aged white men… Who cares about their offspring? The people to whom we leave this world to someday? Nobody of those, that’s who.
    And now London wants to leave the UK, people want a new poll (over 1,000,000 people signed that petition already), Scotland wants a poll about leaving the UK, The Brexit-people are not in a hurry to leave, the EU wants to do it as soon as possible.
    And why does a part of Britain think they are indomitable? Britain does not rule the waves anymore, and hasn’t for a very long time…
    On the topic of the British Car Industry. This website is a tribute to a once very powerful industry. One that (almost) killed itself by building inferior and outdated products and a power struggle between management and unions. What the British have now is a small specialized industry (F1-teams, Lotus, McLaren Aston Martin, etc), foreign owned “mass” production makes (Mini, RR, Bentley, Land Rover and Jaguar) and of course the Japanese who built factories in the UK to build cars for Europe. So the British Car Industry is there for 80% because of those despicable foreigners…
    On a final note. To me I don’t care very much the British have left. I think they were the cry-babies of the EU. Paying (relatively) less than other countries and still such a big vote in everything. Like spoilt brats who got their way most of the time. But I do care about the possible consequences as stated above.
    PS: on a brighter note, check out this site:
    (it says ”Former Colonies Congratulate UK on independence. You really fought for it”. Than it goes on that they understand how the British must be feeling right now…)

    • Your opening few words on this post are the only ones with any credibility. Your opinion.

      Those like you who are quick to play the Xenophobe and racist cards invariably have very suspect covert values on the same subject.

      Have a look around your own country and some of your neighbouring ones. There is an ever growing swell of folks there who are also moving to have their own Referendum. Will you again play the race and xenophobe cards towards them? Pathetic mindset.

      • Oh yes, Britain no longer rules the waves… you got that right. EJver alert and watchful, we lurk under them.

        Things have gone full circle…

        The EU now waives the rules to suit their parasitical selfish ends.

        OK… own up. Who moved the Goalposts again.

        You heard it here last.

  17. @ Jeroen, like in Holland, the over 40s tend to be more Eurosceptic. In Britain support for a Brexit was highest among over 40s, the working class, the North, Midlands and South Wales, which are less economically successful than the rest of Britain. Where I live, an overwhelmingly white Labour voting borough, 61 per cent of people voted to leave.

  18. Rejoice!
    We’ve got our country back, well three quarters of it……..
    Time to deport all those eastern European immigrants and anyone seen with a can of Mr Sheen because it has the word ‘Polish’ on it….

    Remember who won the World Cup in 1966…..

  19. I wonder how many people though that voting Leave would lead to Ulster and Scotland potentially leaving the UK? I bet HM the Q isn’t happy…

    Remain lost the vote by concentrating on economic arguments – it should have stressed the political need for a united Europe in the face of Putin, Murdoch and all the other backers who strangely seem to be the “establishment” that Brexiters supposedly voted against.

    The car industry is already being screwed thanks to Leave due to all the boughtin components priced in dollar-linked currencies…

    • Ulster and Scotland. Both those have already had their their say on this very subject long before June 23rd. The poisonous Nicola is swiftly moving to have some kind of replay and if that doesn’t get the result she, not all of “her” people want, no doubt will ask for lots of extra time and even then looks set to ignore the very final whistle.

      Currently watching lefty biased BBC1 Question Time. What a biased line up of those this Nation entrusts to its well-being.

      BBC’s Dimbleby running true to his prejudicial form by not interrupting the likes of BBC luvvie favourites like Anna Soubry and Diane Abbot, and hardly allowing those explaining how we now proceed to say three words without interruption.

  20. Tit for tat tariffs between the British and EU on cars would be a nonsense especially as cars are so international these days. Your Aston DB9 has a V12 made in Germany, your 4 cylinder BMW 3 series has an engine made in Birmingham etc

    And if tariffs on UK made cars meant that GM (for example) couldn’t afford to export Astras to Europe, surely the retaliatory tariffs on EU made cars would make the Golf, A3 and Focus so expensive, that Astra sales in the UK would rise significantly to compensate?

    There will be lots of uncertainty in the meantime, but big business will ensure a sensible arrangement is made by the politicians

  21. @ maestrowoff, there is a possibility if there are retaliatory tariffs that we could see a switch to British built cars as they are cheaper. However, this isn’t 1970 where four large British manufacturers took 90 per cent of the market and Ford and GM tailored their cars for the British and continental markets. Nowadays the car industry is far more international, around 80 per cent of cars are imported and what’s likely to happen is prices of new cars in general would rise. This is one reason I voted to remain.

  22. We have the option to retaliate to any negative effect to the UK’s interest with the any imposed tariffs you appear to fear. I do not give a flying fig if your next new BMW or Mercedes will cost you more and that is a prime reason for you voting remain. Add to the massive trade imbalance with the Germans if you wish. That is not in the best interests of this Nation as a whole even if it suits your interests.

    Just been listening to Alastair Campbell. What a nasty piece of work on TV. OK, I suspect most folks already knew that.

    PSSST … Ford and GM are not British Manufacturers… Sure these Global Outfits have much reduced token operations here compared to the 1970s of course but, they do not provide anywhere near the same levels of employment opportunities or even good careers as was once the case. As the Japanese, Indians and Germans here have warned in the near and distant pass, when it suits them, not us, they will be gone. The double whammy will be they will still want to take advantage by vending their large profit margin products built elsewhere here. The only worry being if this Nation are mug enough to continue doing what they want. Since the early hours of Friday morning, it would appear we’re still a Nation with sufficient quantities of the right stuff to say Up Yours etc.

    TATA for now.

  23. I think after Scotland quits, we should rename what is left of the UK as Xenophobia, it has a good ring to it.

    • You trying to bring things to the Boil D. M-R. ? Switch it off please and please be advised your heating element breaks EU parameter guidelines.

  24. I suppose you could look at things this way. If Remain had won I suspect the Brexiteers would not have gone away and would have continued to press for another referendum. If everything goes pear shaped the UK can always re-apply for EU membership in the future. It is a bit similar to Tony Benn trying to impose full blown socialism on Britain in 1974. This dream collapsed amid public sector strikes, which in theory should not have happened, as these employees were meant to serve the community at large. Once this experiment had been tried the nation could move on. Maybe the same could be applied to Brexit. The Brexiteers will either be vindicated or found to be gravely mistaken. Either way, the nation will be able to move on, the experiment over.

    • Just a thought.
      But if Britain was to vote again.
      It would have to sign up for the Euro currency.. Schengen area… No rebates on membership fees.
      All opt outs of Maastricht treaties gone.
      I cannot see the voters opting in favour of these new realities.
      So I’m afraid Out is OUT.
      That’s just the reality.

  25. As part of a programme to rid the nation of European contamination we should dispose of German cars, Belgian chocolates, Danish bacon, Edam cheese, French and Italian wine, pasta, ABBA records, French fries and anything else continental.
    And as David Morphy-Richards has already suggested, the nation should be re-branded Xenophobia.

    Giles Armitage-Shanks: always taking the piss.

  26. Armitage-Shanks.. Don’t they make Toilet Chinaware or has that organ gorn down the pan like so many others?

    Giles, you rascal. Flushed with our success, at least our Great Nation has stepped away from brink of going down the pan of a crumbling parasitical so called Union. … correction… not pan, that’s inappropriate … make it toilet. Puts a complete stop to all that EU bovine excrement emissions coming our way either. Emissions Control. Quite … VAG in a word…. 🙂

    As someone once said … REJOICE. Who was that, Oh I remember now, it was me.

  27. If I recall correctly, when Nissan & other companies signed up for facilities in the UK there was all the fuss about payments and preferential treatment and the like…
    Now if our government at the time had been sensible they’d have put in a nice little clause that said.. We forget taxes and pay you a fat wodge of the folding stuff, you agree to provide so many jobs for such and such a time… With massive penalties if the company pulls out. This is of course assuming that the average UK government has a collective IQ higher than a caveman with Zika microcephaly, which I agree is unlikely.. But it may be that Nissan and the like CAN’T leave without getting hammered, and if they’re exporting 80% production it’ll be a double whammy.
    In addition, I don’t think that we’ll see a tax on British production if the EU survives, because the French government will throw 40 fits if Nissan’s UK production gets taxed (because of the Renault connection) and Japan will politely send a do it yourself Seppuku kit to the politicians concerned for the same reason, over and above the fact that that sort of taxation, which will smack of petty revenge politics would be the quickest way to kill off European collaboration stone dead.
    The situation has changed – there are too many inter country connections now within car manufacturing (ironically because of the EU) to make putting the boot into one country a viable proposition for the others, for example, France & Germany support a incoming tax for British manufacture, they’ll put the boot into Renault, Nissan, Dacia, BMW, Merc, Citroen & Peugeot – aka all their own manufacturers and put jobs at risk at home too, and voters don’t like that.. Then you’ve got all the companies sharing engines to think about.. So that’s FCA as well (they share Peugeot/iveco diesels if I remember right), then on top of that you’ve companies that sell engines and other stuff to other brands.. As well as build their own..
    A blanket tax on UK vehicle or components production now would be the political equivalent of tap dancing stark naked on a fire ants nest…while covered in honey – I think its what’s called a no win scenario.

    Interesting science: It’s now been confirmed that Fire Ants have a collective memory for people/animals they’ve attacked before. Apparently it’s part an alarm pheromone that the ants will attack if they smell it again and part the smell of the person/animal concerned, which will trigger an attack… I am eternally grateful I wasn’t one of the people finding that out..

    P.S if you ever go to the USA and see what looks like a large ant with a colourful fuzzy Mohican, do not pick it up, it is a wingless wasp and you will be in a world of hurt, they’re called Velvet Ants and have been known to drive cattle to run over cliffs just to stop the pain.

  28. Enjoyed that Emma… a good read and well said.

    “Now if our government at the time had been sensible”

    Like with Thatcher and her team of worse forms of Tories could never be accused of being.

    So hell bent in severing and destroying the Trade Union’s lifeblood, most of indigenous UK manufacturing, they dropped their guard and allowed our competitors to set up here with a range of attractive offers including access to set up on greenfield sites and other inducements funded by UK taxpayers. There are still many Brits who think everything Thatcher and her team’s knee-jerk quick fixes did was of benefit to the longer term well being of this Nation. That includes some of my close relatives who “Always vote Tory” who actually voted LEAVE last Thursday.

    Those quick fixes can and will bite the hands than fed them when it suits. Taking the longer term considered view, unlike say the Germans, Japanese you name them, our “Sensible” Governments can rarely be accused of.

    Increased foreign ownership and control of UK assets … it makes economic sense … doesn’t it?

    • MG John – you mention “quick fixes”. If my memory serves me right, Nissan and Honda started UK operations in the 1980s, that’s 30 years ago now. How quick do you want it ?

      • …actually, in hindsight, I should have asked how SLOW do you want it.

        I’ve also just realised that 30 years is about the time it took our car industry ( plus a number of other industries ) to go from thriving to basket case. I sincerely hope the Brexiteers have a plan that will work quicker than the combined 60 years it took us to get back to where we were.

        Oh sorry, did I ask if they have a plan ?

      • My job took me past the greenfield site in Wiltshire daily when Honda were given the OK to set up there. All part of covert Tory plans to deal with the “Union Problem”. In 1982, the then Tory Government arranged to sell off ( undervalued spiv-like cheap privatisation style ) the massively Asset Rich then Austin Rover Group to FOMOCO for … wait for it…a paltry £39 million… all done behind closed doors. When that hit the fan it was one of the precious few times I was proud of my fellow Brits who sent a very clear message that was simply not on. Now those same Brits, as a glance at any car park will soon confirm, form queues to pay over the odds for VWs, BMWs and Mercedes~Benz… all product of the UK Midlands… OK… Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes is a product of the UK Midlands… Hey we CAN build good cars even if they carry the three-pointed-star…

        We now have a clean sheet start opportunity to get things right to the benefit of this Nation as a whole, not a selfish smaller segment thereof.. Maybe you Richard are one of the many who do not think the majority ( note that word majority ) who believe we can get it right are wrong.

        Still why should I give a monkey’s … I’m alright. Now where’s those new BMW details. I fancy a nice new 5-Series in shiny black with all important cup holders. Such purchases good for the economy … Trouble is, it may cost me a few quid more…noiw… :(… Damn it! Should have voted REMAIN. You got it wrong again John Boy. Some folks never learn and that includes you. After all, clearly this Nation does not have sufficient of the right stuff to not only survive, but to actually thrive outside the increasingly parasitic womb of the EU Monster.

        Damn it … got it wrong again along with 17.4 million other clueless Brits.. Suppose I will just have to make do and get by with nothing to look forward to. Just turned off the BBC1 … looks like they were right after all … we’re doomed …;)

        Here’s proof positive… the camera never lies…


  29. We were rubbish at running our own car industry. See what success has been had by foreign companies investing here. They made that choice because we are in the EU, and our labour laws are flexible.

    However much you dress it up, that is now at risk.

    People complain about factories being set up in Eastern Europe which supply the same markets as factories here, and they are cheaper. The same people complain about people from Eastern Europe coming here and taking jobs.

    Which do they want? Eastern Europeans to work in their own country, or here?

    The problem is globalisation, and my view is that the EU protected us from that to some degree. The fact that it’s easier to fire people in the UK than France, demonstrates that the much feared outcome that EU laws would rule all our lives never happened. That was just a bogey-man.

    When in doubt, blame foreigners. It worked for Adolf.

  30. So what else is new Richard? Prior to and years before any mention of any Referendum, “our” UK motor industry is, was and will forever be at risk simply because of who controls it and has the final say. Those who control have given notice of that several times.

    When it suits, all will be gone. Then us Brits will have no option but to invest in … ourselves. Just like our EU “friends” like Germany and France have always done and continue to do so. Now there’s a novelty.

    Mark my words, Ford will soon move Transit Production from Hampshire to OUTSIDE the EU with a loss of many jobs. To … Turkey… assisted by favourable term loans of EU taxpayers cash ( that’s us UK Taxpayers money too ) and expect George Osborne to be one of the signatures on that agreement to.

    Amazed by the steady stream of doom merchants who are determined simply not to get it.

    Tata for now.

    • As you say MGJohn – “when it suits, all will be gone”. But up ’til June 23rd 2016 it suited foreign owned car companies very well to manufacture in the UK and probably would have done for years to come.

      Now it looks like ‘the majority’ have decided that we don’t need foreign investment after all and we’ll do better going it alone. Well, the majority may be right, but I’m not sure how long we’ll have to wait to find out.

  31. Cliff, are you one of the many Brits who have been brainwashed into believing we are incapable of making good cars of our own? Are my MGs and Rovers really so inferior to the products of say Peugeot, Citroen, VW, Audi etc of the time? Don’t answer that, I’ve driven some of those EU built cars and already know the answer to that.. of course they’re not. Had some as company cars including Mercedes so talk from direct experience, not as my friendly always buys German neighbour assures me “You cannot beat German engineering and reliability John” He does not do that now and has a very expensive reasons for not so doing. Twelve thousand plus of them. Same with my almost invariably buys foreign younger brother who has a superb 3-Series Cabriolet. Been in the family since new. Spoke to him on the phone a while back. “Gonna sell it John I think. Needs over a thousand quids worth of suspension component renewal for the MoT”. Funny, when talking to him, he let slip the most reliable car he ever had was … wait for it… A Rover.

    There again, maybe as a Nation we are quite incapable… Second thoughts, wish I had voted REMAIN… My new BMW would be less costly then apparently.

    • MGJohn, I don’t think ‘brain washing’ is entirely the preserve of the Remainers. I had an open mind about staying or leaving but the lack of any plan in the event of Brexit convinced me that on balance it wouldn’t be a good idea.

      From your posts, I’m guessing you’re an engineer, possibly retired or close to it. You probably have good knowledge of vehicle manufacture and design and your opinions and decisions have been formed from your life experiences. I’m not an engineer or retired, and my life experiences indicate that the best option when – A) the current one is working OK all-in-all and it would be extremely disruptive and risky to change it, or – B) a great leap into the unknown where the outcome is unlikely to be any better, at least not within my lifetime, and that leap would be lead by people you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time with, then I’ll take option A thank you.

      I currently own two German cars and one British. The Germans have an unmistakable quality, do exactly what they are meant to do and don’t cost the earth to run. The British one is superb doing what it was designed to do but considered by most people on this website to be a bad choice if you want reliability. Incidentally, my own experience is completely the opposite to that. It might be significant though that my example was produced when the Germans were in charge, and it has a German engine. The British engined ones weren’t very good apparently.

      But as I say, we all form our opinions from our own experiences, so less of the insults please if someone disagrees with your position.

      • Examples of clueless UK car consumers.

        Now closing on twenty years ago, I responded to an advertisement for a Rover 800 Vitesse Turbo. Erroneously described as having a reliable and powerful Honda engine. Jokingly over the phone, I told him that if it did have a Honda engine, I would not be interested in buying it. You could almost hear his jaw drop. “It must be a Honda engine it’s so powerful and reliable”. I bought the car and it had Rover’s T-Series Turbocharged power unit of course with the five letters R O V E R across the plug cover. Could you imagine Soichiro Honda allowing anyone to put another manufacturer’s name on one of his engines. The ARGroup-Honda partnership jointly produced some fine cars. Then BMW bought the whole asset rich sheebang. My Rover 620ti ~ we have currently four running in the family ~ is one such joint venture. It’s Rover’s version of their Accord.

        Work colleague asked me to go along and look at a Honda diesel on a “You know about cars John” basis. Always pleased to help, when lifting the bonnet there before our eyes was a Rover Diesel L-Series. The vendor insisted the “Honda” Diesel engine is reliable, powerful and economical. Should I burst the bubble? No I kept quiet about that.

        One more although I could go on all night. This one is a cracker. My friendly always buys German neighbour used to castigate me for my choice of cars at any opportunity. At one neighbour hood party … back on New Years Millenium eve, a group of car enthusiast ganged up on me quite heatedly and our good lady’s stepped in to cool it before our heated discussion came to blows. I alone was the only owner of MGs and Rovers. Always had one or more about the place like forever. Most vociferous was my Porsche driving neighbour always going on about German engineering and reliability. Sometime later, his son came over to me and explained that said Porsche self ignited on the nearby M5 leaving Dad stranded on the hard shoulder. The repairs well more than I had recently paid for my new MG ZS … on the road. Talking to him later, he explained the sorry tale and I did not let on that his son ahd already told me of the b=unfortunate car problem. Then at the end, he asked me how the still fairly new MG was going. I told him my wife and two sons had just returned from touring on the EU Mainland where my son casually let slip he cruised it at well over 100mph The rascal. I finished saying the car never missed a beat. Here’s the killer…his response which he most sincerely believed…

        Ah John, that’s Honda engines for you … :rolleyes:

        We’re doomed.

        I gave him along with a few friends a lift in my MG ZT turbo recently. TV, powerfold windows, bum warmers, SatNav, 6CD Multichanger and even a cassette player… so I can play all my old favourites. Oh yes, and cup holders …musn’t forget them. He was visibly impressed with what now is a fairly old car. Did he ever look at one when they were new in the showrooms, no way like so many other Brits… never on their short list when the time came to buy a new car.

        Back to my ZS…Thirteen years later car still in very reliable daily use by my better half. So must be the Honda engine which looks remarkably like one of those “They all do that” K-Series which so far has not done that. Even if it did, I would enjoy fixing it… It aint Rocket Science.

        Finally, there was a time when the pedant in me would contact every seller of a Rover car erroneous describing it having a Honda engine. After what must have been fifty such, I gave up … far too many. One seller on ebay really had a nasty verbal go at me and insisted he was right and I was wrong. Soon others joined the discussion and they further marked his card about his misleadingly erroneous description. Next day the auction was withdrawn.

        Clueless Clarkson has a lot to answer for.

        Have a nice day.

  32. I have a cunning plan. How about us Brits invest in … ourselves. Instead of using wads of UK taxpayers cash and other inducements to allow foreign Investors access to greenfield sites and set up factories here ( at the same time teaching our Red Robbo riddled car Industry a lesson on how to kill the Unions ) use OUR money to invest in ourselves. You know what, there are some signs that the close down, asset strip and run off sharpish with the returns days are behind us Brits. Just maybe they really are and instead of selling off assets double cheap spiv-like, actually invest in ourselves. That IS something we could learn from our “friends” on the mainland like France and Germany.

  33. I had a thought, someone should go do a 6 series documentary on brexit whining with all the lovable characters – they could call it Game of Moans.

  34. After all said and done, on second thoughts, maybe we BRITS are incapable of designing and producing successful cars.

    Lewis Hamilton’s Double WDC and WCC F1 car was designed and built in Stuttgart, or, was it Munich. Need to find out exactly where. Anyway it carries a three pointed star so no way would a British design, built and driven product be allowed to carry one of the most Iconic Company logos on it.

    All those impressive WDCs and WCCs during 2010-13 and those F1 teams in the past… Built in the land of the Bull of Red; Austria or elsewhere.

    That’s it… incapable… Proof positive … England 1.. The might of Iceland ( population 3 ) 2. You couldn’t make that up. Have to go to the EU head bowed, tail between our legs asking can we have our EU membership back pretty please. Just as Nigel Farage is doing in the EU Parliament as I type this.

    Well said Nigel… “proper job in your lives” Nice one Nigel.

    Should have voted REMAIN MGJohn.

  35. If I was designing a British car I would clean sheet the whole thing, it’s the only way to go.
    The problem isn’t British engineering, it isn’t a lack of the technology I would use. It isn’t even money if the government like the idea. It’s all the stupid laws, and the assumptions that a vehicle has to be built to deal with a situation that happens, statistically once per 14 years or so per driver.
    There are so many ways to improve economy cleanly, instead of trying to patch an ancient idea, use old materials in new ways with current technology.
    The idea we build cars over strong, over weight and over complicated in order to save 1-5 people is ridiculous when according to the best information we have the whole planet is on the verge of a mass extinction that would make the K-T look like a minor hiccup.
    The biggest problem is simple – most of the human race is mechanically single minded, so all the manufacturers play to that selling half assed “eco” cars, and 90% fall for it because they know no better.
    I could build you a 3 door small family car capable of 100mph off a 350cc engine or better with a hybrid system onboard, with much better emissions… But because of simple minded politicians and executives it’ll never get anywhere.

  36. Nissan in Sunderland, are in the firing line, the French opposed and objected to the presence of Nissan Sunderland as a trojan horse of the Japanese car industry, the French still have that chip on their shoulder long after Sunderland proved to be the highest productivity car plant in Europe, despite the merger of Renault and Nissan the French politicians still hanker after an elimination of the Sunderland Plant

    • I remember that well.

      Over on other car enthusiasts’ sites I frequently visit, some UK folks there have told of when dealing with manufacturers on the EU Mainland, they have been advised it has always been their ( The EU’s ) intention to move all major UK manufacturing over there.

      Unless we invest in ourselves, taking control soon in line with “we want our country back”, their plans will eventually mean little worthwhile manufacturing with be in the UK.

      We have to stop those taking us Brits for Mugs. That’s been going on for far too long. Those we entrust to the Nation’s well being, that is, any government since and including Thatcher, are not fit for that purpose. On 23rd June, we the people made the first very positive step in that direction. The first step of many to take back both control and responsibility for our own well being. Within the very few days since then, you know what, there are actually signs those at Westminster are actually listening to us now. Praise be.

  37. I was in my local branch of Lidl in the checkout queue.
    After the Polish couple in front had paid, the checkout girl asked if they needed help in packing.
    Bally hell, the repatriation scheme has started already.
    June 23rd 2016 was the greatest day in the history of the British Empire since Mad Mitch and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders re-established control of Crater in the summer of 1967.
    I remember summers past when I would sit in the porch of the family’s large house on our Malayan rubber plantation, sipping a G and T. Our native servants were so loyal they would have attended to our wims for nothing. Oh, I have remembered, they did do it for next to nothing.
    If the British Empire lasts for a thousand years, people will say this was our finest hour.

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