Blog : Brexit – we need a rethink before it’s too late…

Back in February, I blogged that my fears over a deal-less Brexit and the apparent inability of the UK Government to come to an acceptable solution over trade with the EU could cost the car industry an awful lot of money. At the time, this seemed like a worst-case scenario. Surely our Ministers couldn’t really be so stupid as to avoid striking a deal. Surely…

However, five months on, it really does seem to be heading in this direction. And if my dystopian ramblings weren’t enough to depress/enrage/anger any AROnline readers over the impending damage that could be done to the UK motor industry, it seems that BMW decided to direct a shot across the Government’s bows over the future of MINI. This really is happening, folks.

Bear in mind that the UK is set to leave the European Union for good on 29 March 2019, you can understand the carmaker’s frustrations. Ian Robertson, the head of BMW UK told The Guardian the company needed clarity on future trading arrangements by the end of the summer.

BMW’s threat to the UK Government over MINI and Rolls-Royce

‘If we don’t get clarity in the next couple of months we have to start making… contingency plans – which means investing money in systems that we might not need … which means making the UK less competitive than it is in a very competitive world right now,’ Robertson said.

According to Burkhard Riering, the Editor of Automotive News Europe’s sister publication Automobilwoche, the company is setting up a taskforce that’s preparing for a worse-case Brexit where the UK quits entirely the EU’s customs union and the single European market, and what the company needs to do to avoid bottlenecks at the border.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what is our Government doing to calm the storm? Is it talking to the British car industry, and saying ‘we’ve got your back’? No.

Is the UK Government working ceaselessly with the EU to ensure that there’s a European trade deal that will guarantee tariff-free deal – in and out – that will make sure our cars can be sold in EU without penalty, just as we can continue buying cars built within the EU in the same way? No.

We’re in a mess – who’s going to suffer?

And more than that, the car industry is a global business – parts pass to-and-fro across borders many times before they become fully-fledged cars – so imagine how tariffs are going to complicate that issue. Why is it that we don’t have a clear idea about how the UK is going to look in a post-Brexit world?

In short, we’re in a mess. And the Government really does appear to be absolutely clueless about the how it’s going to tackle this problem. Before we heap too much bile towards the Tories on this, remember that Labour’s position is equally unclear, if a little less vocal. If Corbyn didn’t want it to happen, he could have stopped it in Parliament. But he didn’t.

And all the time, there are still influential elements within the Government which seem set on doing ‘no trade deal’ with the EU, as if that’s a good thing. It’s not a good thing – in fact, it’s insane. I’m not going to rant about how we’ve been let down over Brexit, and how we ended up here.

Where do you start with blame? Nigel Farage for getting the popular support of millions of voters? David Cameron for kowtowing to his sizable following and pledging to run a referendum in the event of winning a majority in the 2015 General Election (which he thought he’d never get)?

Or Labour for pitching Ed Miliband for the job of next Prime Minister (and thereby gifting the Tories with the win)? Or maybe Boris Johnson for helping win the Leave vote in a mood of national anti-establishmentism and general mistrust?

How do you solve a problem like Brexit?

The question is – what can we do to solve the problem, and put industry and the economy back on an even keel? As a population, we’re still as divided as ever on the issue (maybe more so), and all this time on, we’re also as uninformed as we ever were. That’s an unforgivable side-effect of our leaders’ complete ineptitude on the issue – they are seemingly clueless, so where does that leave us?

It’s interesting that, in the 20 months since Dave Leggett wrote his excellent blog, ‘Brexit and the UK’s automotive industry‘ we still don’t seem to have made any real progress at all. The global car industry has put pretty much all UK strategic planning on hold while the mess is sorted out – which plays into the hands of everyone else, and causes companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and Vauxhall to cite ‘Brexit uncertainty’ in the face of bad news.

As Dave says, ‘[Automotive] investment strategies are evaluated on a variety of competitive criteria, including any changes to shipping costs. And it’s not just the existing companies to consider, there are decisions being made on long-term criteria by new investors. A Chinese OEM, for example, might now consider that locating a plant in the UK is less preferable than, say, Poland, because of Brexit risks attached to UK-EU trade costs.’

Lions led by donkeys…

This situation is not likely to change while we have such clueless people running the UK-EU negotiations. According to The Guardians Andrew Rawnsley, a team of 11 have completely failed to agree a strategy for the Second Phase of the negotiations with the EU. The Prime Minister seems powerless to unite them in our strategy – despite the car industry (a huge economic power, remember), as well as other important sectors, wanting the UK to stay in the same trading bloc as the EU.

Maybe it’s time for a rethink. It’s fairly unlikely that another referendum will heal the national divide (for the reasons stated above), but equally something needs to be done pronto to get the negotiations on-track again before the UK is left out in the cold completely. Time is running out. The current Government has proved that it’s unable to get on with the task in hand, and equally Labour is shifting this way and that on the issue. So why not give someone else a go?

The UK has some of the world’s greatest and cleverest entrepreneurial minds, so why on earth would you leave this issue in the hands of a bunch of untrusted career politicians? They could report to a cross-party committee, which would be responsible for getting this mess straightened out while there’s still time.

Just how important is the UK car industry?

Think it’s not important? According to the SMMT, in 2017, the UK automotive industry was a massive contributor to the UK economy. And that’s despite it having just endured a tough-ish year. It accounts for more than £77.5bn turnover and £18.9bn value added to the UK economy.

There are 169,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and in excess of 814,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 12.0% of total UK export of goods and invests £4bn each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models – and you know what, people in Europe want to buy them.

Do you really want the fate of all of that resting in the politically-motivated machinations of some clowns in Westminster? It’s probably time to start writing to your MPs, and tell them how worried you are – especially if you live in a marginal constituency.

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Keith Adams


  1. Hmmmm. Much as I am in favour of manufacturing and automotive in particularly, the EU negotiators will be happy to focus on deals for car makers. This is because if the whole UK motor industry disappeared it would effect the UK GDP by less than 4%. If the city of London income dropped by 10% we would suffer a 5% drop in GDP. Now we all dislike bankers and brokers but they are paying our bills….

      8% of GDP car manufacturing accounts for (not including sales, servicing and repairs)
      The entire City of London accounts for 22% according to this
      That is not all financial services. I cant find the figures but I believe it about 12% (must look harder) so a ten percent drop would ~1-2%
      I don’t think the UK would survive a drop of the magnitude never mind a drop of 4% and definitely not 12%

      Worrying times ahead.

      • 77.5 billion in 2017 is 3.8% of UK GDP in 2017. City of London and financial services is 30% plus by your references, it was quoted as 40 to 50% of GDP at the time of the referendum. In any case it’s a factor of 10 on automotive. Unfortunately!
        Better to consider this too in negotiations I think, because all those bankers will move to Frankfurt in a flash – along with their turnover. No infrastructure to move for them.

        • No it’s not The article states that car manufacturing is around 8% of gdp.

          The other aricle is for ALL of London not just financial services. A drop of ten percent in ALL of london’s GDP would amount to a 2.2% “The City” could reasonably account for about half of that.

          Financial services do account for 30% of GDP but that includes domestic banking, Insurance, payday loans, etc. about half of it “international” merchant banking so a 10% drop would indeed be around 1~2% of GDP

          Please if you are going to make these claims do research and give referrances, don’t just make things up.

          Also you’ll find we’re paying the banker’s bills not the other way around

      • Oh, and I did read recently in telegraph/motoring/news ,that diesels emit high levels of nitrous oxide………. laughable journalism.

    • It was during Thatcher’s time that Frankfurt nearly bought our stock exchange. She assumed the money men would more than fill the gap left by industrial rundown. But, hey, it’s as vulnerable as anything else. We need to trade with real, tangible goods and we surely need to be in the single bigggest market. Oh well. SNAFU.

      • Absolutely – and whilst it can take years to shutter a car factory and transfer production abroad, financial services can be transferred to Frankfurt, New York or wherever overnight at the flick of a switch.

    • I don’t know what your survey proves. However, only a 1% swing in opinion could have changed the result, which Policians seem to be treating as if it was as decisive as 1975. Seeing as neither main Political party could agree back then Harold Wilsons approach to that refererendum was much more sensible.

      As you suggest, leaving the EU will have repurcussions which will last decades, not the length of one Parliament. Hopefully people will remember that at the next election. I wouldn’t blame Nigel Farrage for the mess since he has at least been consistent. In contrast there were a number of influencial Conservatives who jumped on his bandwagon for personal gain and started promising to out UKIP, UKIP.

      • I assume you are referring to Boris Johnson, who ironically was a remainer before the referendum.

        He could easily be PM now with a much stronger economy if he had got behind Cameron & rewarded with boost in a leadership vote as Cameron was hinting he would stand down by the 2020 election.

  2. Well considering virtually all or the UK car manufacturers are foreign owned why would they remain in the UK post Brexit, if we are outside the customs union. They will gradually exit the UK as it will be too much trouble to remain here, considering 80% of production is exported mostly to Europe anyway.
    EU and USA controlled businesses in other sectors presently in the UK will likely think the same.
    I think in 10 years time Poland will be far more prosperous than the UK. With the UK reduced to a poor little isolated island off the mainland of Europe.

    • Many times in the past, years nay decades before any mention of a Referendum, Honda, Nissan and Toyota have indicated that when it suits them, not us, they will be gone. That they have not yet done so suggests there has been “inducements” over the years not do that. Brexit may have given them the reason to do that anyway yet at the same tine still want to vend their stuff manufactured elsewhere in the UK here to take advantage of fatter UK margins… ask BMW about which member of the EU apart from their homeland provides the richest pickings for their products.

      Sadly, it is simply a matter of time before they upsticks and move away when it suits them, not us.

    • Question for you NeilB,

      What percentage of that 80% production goes to one member of the EU? Namely the UK!

      Smoke and mirrors along with statistics usually mislead rather than accurately inform. We as a Nation take those stats as gospel at our peril. Some of us prefer the best evidence available to us. That of our own ears and eyes rather than what spin and propaganda vendors would have us believe.

      • It’s simply really, per the SMMT almost 80% of UK car production was exported in 2017. Thus the other 20% related to the UK home market.

    • Neil – your figures are dead wrong.

      JLR’s revenue dwarfs the rest of the UK car industy – GBP26 billion vs 5 billion for Nissan UK vs much less for Hoinda and Toyota. It’s revenue that counts not number of widgets, unless you’re measuring Ukranian tractor production in the 1950s.

      JLR’s sales have long been split roughly 5 ways – UK / North America / non UK EU / China / other.

      In other words non UK EU is only about 20-25% of sales for our dominant car maker. Which is 5 times the size of the next largest. Latest figures I saw for Nissan where 45% EU, 30% Uk the rest everywhere else.

      • I have quoted SMMT figures. Per Autocar JLR send 17% of their production to the USA from the UK.
        There is of course a good chance JLR scaling down UK production (Halewood is already on short time) and moving it to their new Slovakia plant. The lack of a customs union or single market agreement is likely to hasten this.
        BMW/MINI will possibly exit the UK for the same reason.
        Will us Brits be able to afford JLR products post Brexit or the German stuff for that matter? A falling GDP, rising. unemployment, higher interest rates for an already over indebted population, doesn’t bode well for the next few years.

        • IN or OUT that scenario you highlight is ongoing anyway.

          Whilst remainers moan about their next new BMW or Continental Holiday costing rather more post BREXIT, rejoice that such purchases will be good for the economy. Unfortunately, not the UK’s.

    • The UK imports more cars than it exports. If it’s such a no-brainer that – post-BREXIT – UK-produced cars bound for the EU will be produced in the EU then its also obvious that UK-bound cars currently produced in the EU will henceforth be produced in the UK. Similarly, if EU-produced cars continue to produced and sold in the EU, then UK-produced cars will continue to produced and sold in the UK. But this is not a zero sum game. Sales won’t disappear even if there was no BREXIT deal. If they did, it would result in an increase in UK production and a decrease in EU production. And that would be the case whatever country owned the manufacturer, or whatever the majority shareholding originated from, or the HQ, or a dozen other ways you want to cut it.

      The same applies to other sectors – the UK imports more from the EU than it exports, so if its going to result in companies leaving the UK because if tariffs, friction in trade etc. then the same but on a larger scale would apply in reverse.

      Its not like companies only base their operations in one bloc if that’s what your thinking. And what does US ownership have to do with it? How would barriers between the UK and remaining EU affect that?

    • The UK is one of the largest automotive markets in Europe, once we are not in Europe it is as much in their interests as ours to keep a large degree of manufacturing here. We also have a much more favourable employment law structure compared to the mainland.

      I think many will “hedge their bets” until after we exit, the UK does NOT just trade with the EU! I am a firm believer that the Commonwealth should be leveraged to its full potential post-exit (I HATE the term Br3xit!!), imagine a trading bloc composed of the “Old Empire” – it still spans a quarter of the globe with vast natural resources, why we ever rolled over and got in bed with Europe still escapes me….

      • I can see your point, but even before 1973 the Japanese car makers were beginning to make inroads into many the car markets of the Commonwealth countries, taking over from what had traditionally being rich pickings for the British manufacturers. This was not helped by the leaders of the newly independent nations not wanting to shed their “Motherland” ties where possible.

        Being able to sell cars in mainland Europe tariff free & with lower transport costs must have sound like a good trade-off.

        While not car related, free trade deals with either Australia or New Zealand would be very damaging for British farmers, who would struggle to compete.

  3. Sadly, in more recent times, time and again those we entrust to this Nation’s well being demonstrate that the majority are simply not fit for purpose. Theresa May just be an exception. She more than any has in my opinion the most difficult task facing any British Prime Minister since the days of WWII. Yes the majority of UK’s media class and political jobs for life types cushioned against the harsher realities the rest of us face daily seek mainly only to emphasise the negatives aspects for what the Nation voted in favour of in June 2016. Meantime those parasitic “friends” of ours on the EU Mainland and in Brussels will move Heaven and Earth to make life difficult for us as a Nation to sever that ever increasing parasitic connection between UK Taxpayers and Brussels. One does not need to be taught by David Attenborough that any parasite will never release its sustaining host easily. Quite the opposite. When the sustaining host shed the parasite successfully, the parasite must move on to another host or it will die. Simple as that. That is obviously the BIG fear of Brussels and for that precise reason, they will not make our severance of that ever wider parasitical umbilical cord to Brussels sucking even more of the UK Taxpayers’ hard to come by to prop up their failing Union Model.

    It’s all very well for “caring” Anna Soubry, Gina Miller, Tony Blair, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clark and all the other cushioned against that harsh reality to emphasise that jobs will be lost. Job losses are ongoing and have been happening for years before any mention of a referendum. That poses the more important question of where were these same peoples’ loud vociferous objections during the past forty odd years when millions of UK Jobs were destroyed as a direct result of the UK’s membership of the so called Union of Europe’s less than covert policy agenda. Indeed, it’s all too obvious that this was Brussels and the EU’s not so covert agenda all along. The ever more parasitical Monster the EU has evolved into was never what I voted for back in the early 1970s. Far from it.

    Now retired, I for one lost employment more than once as a result of precisely that and I know of others in my circle of acquaintances who likewise suffered over the years. I now strongly suspect that the result which surprised “It’s in the bag” David Cameron and many folks shows there are almost certainly many millions who voted the way I did for that precise reason as well as the others equally valid. One only needs to search the web to discover folks who worked for former UK owned organisations, when taken over by an EU Mainland Company to be told that the services or production will be moved to the Mainland in the best interests of that company now in alien, not UK control. Over the past four decades, that has happened many many times. Far too many for the longer term well being of this Nation.

    We as a Nation have demonstrated the ability to get far too many important decisions wrong over those decades of EU Membership. That’s all of us have to share that blame for allowing it to happen. June 23rd 20i6 thankfully a notable important exception. Just maybe that decision will be the first of many examples of a Nation now not only wishing to take control of its own affairs and well being over the longer term, but a nation determined to make things right every time. June 23rd 2016 was the first step in that direction. All power to them.

    There again, if God forbid the spoilers, moaners and the others still planning to undermine the wishes of the Nation get their way for a second Referendum, I for one will vote IN! No way do I want to pay far more for my next new mainland built BMW or Continental Holiday. Say no more except I’m alright Jack so yah-boo-sucks and bollards to all the rest of you because…. I’m alright …. for now.

  4. It’s a shame that Brexiteers focus so much on our need to get back our ‘sovereignty’ (whatever that is) because it’s clear that these inept, untrusted, clueless people we call our government and opposition are the last people we should be handing more power to.

    I’d rather it remained in the hands of faceless EU bureaucrats myself (if indeed it currently is).

    • Indeed what exactly will we be taking control of? Just look at what we already control -Road/Rail infrastructure, health care, education – everyone a complete cluster f**k that sits at the bottom of every comparison table. God help us if we allow our political classes to control anything else!

  5. I’m getting tired of the whole Brexit debate. The language on both sides has become extreme( traitors, Sun reading racists, etc) and there’s no middle ground. Those politicians who probably want a soft Brexit like Theresa May or a second referendum like Vince Cable are sidelined by hardliners in the two main parties. It’s likely about the only thing Jeremy Corbyn has in common with Jacob Rees Mogg is a dislike of the EU, as Corbyn would quite happily leave the capitalist EU and have a hardline socialist Brexit.

    • Hardline socialist Brexit.
      Ah, I see you’ve fallenfor the Daily Heil’s editorial, it’s alright you can stop it now. Dacre has left so such mind-bendingly stupid leaders might become a thing of the past soon.
      Corbyn’s “hardline socialist agenda” is ordinary centrist policy in the rest of Europe, well except maybe in Hungary, Poland or Austria.

  6. its a bit one sided we import cars(bmw,vw group,mercedes etc) from the eu, if uk automotive is cut off so could their,s. we want their money they will want ours.
    commonsense is that business not politic,s will balance things out

    • Good question GG da C. More to the point how many of those go to that one EU member, the UK.

      That aligns with Ktimo’s post.

      A good point Ktimo. Fake news distortions conveniently avoided by those who want to see UK’s severance from the parasitical Union fail. Not just to RoTW, but “exports” to the UK’s home market.

      • You have posed that question twice on this blog. You seem to be suggesting that saying 80% of car production is exported is fake news because that 80% included UK sales. Is that a correct understanding of what you have said?

        If so, I don’t understand. If you see this link from December 2017… (, which is a Daily Mail site, so certainly not a remain source, it seems quite clear that YTD Nov 17 total production was 1,577,042, home market was 322,551 and export was 1,254,491. Total export was 79.5% which does not include the home market sales. So the home market is not part of the export to EU stats.

        Of the share of UK production to other EU countries (so not including the UK) I have struggled to find similarly dated figures. However, this link to the FT in January 2016 ( states that exports to the EU bloc account for 57.5% of British car exports.

        If we are not to make informed decisions based upon reliable evidence, including statistics, what should we base them on?

        If you have other evidence, could you please link to it?

        If those stats produced by the SMMT are false, can you please explain why and on what basis?

        In the absence of other evidence or a clear explanation, and by casting doubt upon statistics from a reliable sources, aren’t you at risk of spreading fake news?

        • Oops. Apologies for the tautology. To ask…

          If those stats produced by the SMMT are false, can you please explain why?

          Would have been sufficient. I must learn to proof read…

        • If it appears in print or on the news it surely must be kosher. WRONG.

          What percentage of that figure to the Mainland also includes those destined for further shipment outside the EU?

          Consume the bovine excrement when it suits if you wish, include me out.

          Smoke and mirrors.

          Yes, there will be some jobs lost. Many would still go irrespective of any referendum outcome as those firms in foreign ownership and control have warned many times. Plus lets all disregard the millions of UK jobs and carers lost during our membership of the parasitical Union. Most certainly there are many who have and do benefit here from EU membership as the parasitical union is not broke so why fix it … for them. However nothing lasts forever and whilst those who voted IN did so for obvious “I’m alright” reasons, things change and who is to say the continuing parasitic erosion of UK jobs will not continue. Exporting jobs is something we as a nation have excelled at in recent decades. Those cushioned against reality Remainers and the Westmonster privileged rarely ever mention that form of UK exports for bluddy obvious reasons. Maybe you are one of those who voted IN because “Why fix it if it aint broke” reasons … for you. It has been broke for decades for millions of others.

          Not just the Japanese firms, Ford, GM etc have some “token” production here which is a mere slim shadow of what once was the case providing much needed employment. Here where their product still sells in healthy margin numbers. However, like Transit production shipped wholesale to Turkey before ever mention of a referendum, how long before it suits them not us with what little they produce here to upsticks and take production elsewhere?

          That always has been the concern for many jobs already lost here. What under the table covert deals have been done at taxpayers’ expense to keep these Japanese and other firms here. Maybe those news items some years ago were also of the FAKE variety.

          This Nation can learn from many others who like the USA…Rightly put No.I first. They all have their country’s long term interests forever foremost. Unlike the UK, there is valid reasons to admire their sensible “America etc First” stance. For all too long this Nation has played all too fairly in a shark infested commercial world. Next you will tell me that the protected still massive French and German Automotive Industries continue to survive and thrive because they produce superior product to us also ran Brits.

          Over the past few decades, I have helped folks owning MGs and Rovers locate parts for their highly regarded cars near impossible to find in their countries. Not just in the EU, as far apart as Argentina, Israel and Africa where what I regard as “our” Britsih cars are still highly regarded even though they are all now ell over a decade old, usually far more.

          So, I have a question for you, why is it that British cars are more highly regarded worldwide than they are by the car consumers in the land where they are made.? Could it be media brainwashing of the car consumers, not to be confused with car enthusiasts.

          Still vivid in my mind’s eye are media “correspondents” outside the gates at Longbridge day after day geeing up views and listeners that the “bruvvers” inside will soon be voting on Industrial Action. That’s media speak for “strikes”… talk about living in the past. Their fake news slant made to create the impression that the “bruvvers” will almost certainly vote to down tools and walk. Come the day and the media plonker outside those same gates gives a swift update of the vote result. The “bruvvers” did NOT voite to strike. The disappointed embarrassing expression on their faces said it all for me about FAKE news vendors. Then it’s … Cue “upcoming” and “moving swiftly on”…

          Still it is all too frequent in the cushioned against reality highly over rewarded media news vendor environment. Note also how when their massive payment packages were revealed, I am careful to use payment here and not to use the word “earn” particularly with the BBC shower in mind with their guaranteed statute income stream. They then conveniently shifted their news slant to the so called disparity of pay scales on the gender gap to deflect from the core issue of their huge payments. Many females in the media are paid in excess of some of their male counterparts anyway. That is not FAKE. Jobs maybe equal on paper, but, no two folks on God’s Earth are equal in ability and skills etc. Each should be paid on merit and those aspects alone and “earn” what they are paid. Here I speak from the best evidence available to me. I have employed many folks over the years and long since understood that no two folks are equal.

          Cue “upcoming” and “moving swiftly on”… 🙂

          • I’m afraid that hasn’t added any clarity.

            When you have used the words “…that figure to the Mainland…” you seem to be implicitly accepting that figure is correct. You have offered no evidence to doubt it and in any event does it matter what proportion is subsequently shipped out from the other EU countries? The proportion of UK car exports is still around 80%.

            So in what way is that “bovine excrement”? News and statistics can be wrong, but on what basis do you say that? You have not offered any alternative evidence or explanation.

            In the rest of your post you make a couple of points which I have some sympathy with but when you offer no evidence and insensitively assert that other people are gullible whilst you are not, you are in danger of becoming the sort of fake news vendor you disapprove of.

            Strident opinion is more convincing when supported by reason and evidence. Please provide some.

      • a) 53% is by volume not revenue. By revenue its significantly lower as JLR exports are spread globally (as are the 2 million engines a year Ford exports – not included in the car numbers) 1 Nissan to Europe is worth a fifth of a Range Rover to China.

        b) So what. Brexit is Britain’s withdrawal from a political union. We are seeking to retain a FTA. Similarly to how Canada has no Customs Union or Political Union with the US, but there is a North American FTA called NAFTA and everyone knows there is one integrated North American car industry

  7. The sooner we are out of the EU the better….a common market was ok but political union no way….if they don’t want to sell us their BMW’s, VW’s, Audis, Mercedes, etc in the UK at a reasonable price then the EU will have to explain to German workers why they are being laid off. You don’t see many German cars in France…. I can read similar silly scare stories in the Guardian or on the bias BBC News, sad to see them appearing here on AROnline.
    I remember when we were told the same disasters would happen if we did not join the Euro currency by the same part of the establishment and industry experts….

    • To be fair, it’s a blog, my opinion… not sure what you mean by it being a scare story – I’m simply saying I’m frustrated by the crap way the government is dealing with the negotiation, and they should get someone in who knows what they’re doing. This is a very big, and important deal, and the government really shows no signs of knowing what its doing, which fills me with dread.

      If you think that’s a scare story, fine – see it simply as venting my opinion on the matter, hopefully to raise some questions. You say, ‘The sooner we are out of the EU the better….a common market was ok but political union no way…’ – that’s not the question: we’re leaving the EU (it’s happening), but to do so without some form of trading deal without something in place with your largest trading partner is simple idiocy.

      Finally, I’d say that if BMW starts laying off workers at home as a consequence of falling sales because the UK won’t take its cars (as you say), then imagine what they’ll do with Cowley.

      • Keith, with the passing of more time due mainly to the spoiling tactics of the shower in Brussels who need to make an example of the UK. It is in their interests to delay, spoil and upset negotiations. It is merely human nature to do that when folks do not get their way. That for the UK daring to vote OUT of their “wonderful” ( for them ) parasitic Union of 27 other “successful” member states of their so called union. Successful… yeah right.

        What you and no doubt others see as a “Crap way the Government is dealing” I see as the end product of Brussels shower making things difficult.

        The Union is set for self destruction from within. A simple matter of time as the monster becomes ever more unmanageable. That is their real fear. They need UK Taxpayers massive contributions to enable the monster to continue. It is in their interests to set and example to other EU members by making things difficult for the UK to sever that parasitic connection. Then they can say “Told you so”.

        However, the vast majority of the folks in this Nation do still possess sufficient quantities of the “Right Stuff” to not only survive outside that parasatic EU womb, but to thrive outside of it. It wiull of course take taime and some folks will unfortunately suffer as a result. Nowhere near as manuy as those like me who have suffered as a direct result of EU membership. I did not vote for the all devouring EU Monster it has now become back in the early 1970s. I voted for membership of a much smaller economic community. Previous to that, we were told by some of the so called friends on the Mainland … Non, non non! Maybe those younger posters here were never aware of that. I have a long memory. This Nation has faced far more severe adversity even in my lifetime and overcome it successfully and both survived and thrived despite that.

        With all the current spoiling and finger of blame pointing by vested interests both sides of the Channel who still cannot understand why this Nation voted out. A NO DEAL option becomes the ever more effective way of dealing with it. Then it is up to the people, not governments of the remaining 27 to decide if they want to sever their commercial connections and other aspects with this Nation. That decision will be theirs. Governments wont solve these problems. The people involved will find a way despite what the EU rulers tell us to do. Those that expect an immediate satisfactory BREXIT outcome better go outside and look up at the sky. There is more chance they will see and hear “Oink-oink” and “Flap-flap” passing overhead.

        • Sorry, who decided to leave the party? There’s a responsibility that goes with your vote, ‘our’ vote, to leave. Stick your finger in a fire by all means but don’t expect anyone else to take your pain.

      • Keith imagined :~

        “Finally, I’d say that if BMW starts laying off workers at home as a consequence of falling sales because the UK won’t take its cars (as you say), then imagine what they’ll do with Cowley.”

        You say that Keith, here’s what I say following a tour of the Cowley BMW works couple of years ago.

        Yes, those hundreds of massive yellow robots will grind to a halt and no doubt sold off or deployed elsewhere Chinese MG Motor Style. I wonder where those robots were manufactured…. no I do not.

        Yes a factory tour of what some call Stalag Cowley … :)… British humour .. Good eh what .. Very impressive set up and massively active. The absence of human workers astounded me. Just a few in that huge and extensive works minding those very noisy ( ear defenders a must and were issued ) robots.

        If they close the joint, dearie me… Us Brits will just have to make our own stuff.

        There are still some folks who believe Hamilton’s F1 Championship winning Mercedes-Benz was designed and produced in Stuttgart. Yes, of course they bought the British outfit and put their three-pointed-star logo on all the stuff. Such successful car design is beyond the ken of us useless Brits in some mindsets apparently. With that in mind I’m off to place an order for a nice new Mercedes or BMW. No more old MGs and Rovers for me… 😉

    • “You don’t see many German cars in France”…you see even fewer British ones. Two (of many)reasons: 1 the French are more chauvenistic. Where we have been increasingly, from the sixties, taking our money out of the UK and putting it into foreign economies the French have been much slower to do this. 2 British manufacturers, like British politicians have generally sort of avoided Europe. Is it too difficult a nut to crack, did we see easier pickings elsewhere, or could we simply not be bothered to learn the language? Who knows, but when we’re involved in Europe things generally go better for us, when we turn our backs on Europe things get worse. (Historical note: we lost the American colonies by deliberstely ignoring what was going on in Europe and denyimg our role in European politics.) We never learn.

  8. “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it”
    This quote by Mark Twain rather sums up our politicians, and not just about Brexit which is a total and utter disaster for the economy.

  9. Brexit is a mess created by people who could not accept that the British empire ended five decades ago.
    Once the the vote was arrived at, the value of sterling dropped, making imports more expensive. All at once the weekly shop became more expensive, fuelling support for the fantasy economics of Jeremy Corbyn.
    Be careful what you wish for, for the grass is not always greener on the other side.
    Britain has spent the past 3 decades fighting back from the economic abyss, learning to build and sell goods to the EU. Then it presses the self destruct button and sticks two fingers up at its customers.
    As far as I am concerned Britain deserves everything that comes its way from now on.

    • That just about sums the current, totally misguided situation up!That’s also before the total ineptitude that’s supposed to be coming up with a solution.

  10. In terms of brexit, I understand the points of both sides of the barricade, but let’s not forget one important factor that was mentioned in this blog. The car industry is GLOBAL, which means that belonging to a specific trading bloc might give some assurances or extra benefits, but doesn’t prevent EU manufacturers from moving their plants to other countries within or outside the EU. Car manufacturers might shift production to the eastern bloc, meaning several job losses from other EU countries where wages got too high, to others where wages are lower.
    To give you an example, at the moment, in Portugal, The workers of the VW Plant Autoeuropa have been staging a few strikes against pay and working timetables… VW won’t leave for now, but once they get all their investment back, since they started making cars in 1995, they won’t be too squeamish about shifting production to Morocco.
    So, in my view being part of the EU doesn’t necessary mean at get all car manufacturing jobs are guaranteed. Ford has left car production in the U.K. for good, where the prospect of a referendum was unthinkable.
    So, although I think that both sides of the negotiation table will strike a deal when it comes to the car industry, that will just prolong their stay. Once manufacturers see that they got their money back, and can make a profit elsewhere, they’ll pack their bags, whether their plant is in the EU or not.

  11. Corrections:
    “So, in my view being part of the EU doesn’t necessary mean that all car manufacturing jobs are guaranteed.”
    “Ford has ceased car production in the U.K. for good, at the time when the prospect of a referendum was unthinkable”.

    • Please enlighten me on how.

      I’m remaining fairly neutral, on whether we should be in or out, however going out without a cohesive plan will not make us better in the long run. We need to be absolutely sure of how we as a nation will conduct ourselves once out and we need that now because every day we are out without the right plan being in place is a day where we fall further behind.

      At the moment it is clear there is no cohesive plan and many government reports commissioned since the decision to go out have indicated that we will be worse off.

      This is not acceptable because without leadership (and neither of the main parties seem to have any at the moment) we are heading towards shit creek and we do not have a paddle.

  12. When you look where they are are getting their financial backing from I don’t trust the motives of many politicians wanting us out. What would Churchill think? Anyone thinking Brexit will lead to securer borders might care to look at Theresa May’s performance when in charge of the Home Office. At least Baldrick would have a cunning plan – this mob haven’t got one at all.

  13. I know it’s all seems very dull but I have been trying for a while to alert people who care about the future of motor manufacturing in the UK to what the “guru” of “hard Brexit” (Patrick Minford) actually predicts will happen to UK manufacturing, and to volume car manufacturing, if his prescriptions are followed. The following text (in italics) is from the 2016 report of “Economists for Brexit” which he co-wrote. Note the reference to “diminished manufacturing”. Minford expects and would welcome a decline in manufacturing from around 10% to 5% of GDP – and sees little future for “volume car manufacturing” for which you can read Nissan, Toyota, PSA-Vauxhall and Honda.

    “What would be the effect of simply ‘walking away’ from the EU? Think of it as abolishing the 1972 European Communities Act, not negotiating any new agreements with the EU or anyone else, and putting up no UK trade barriers at all. Detailed model calculations (Minford et al, 2015) show we would receive a welfare gain of 4% of GDP, with consumer prices falling 8% and our competitive services sector expanding to take the place of diminished manufacturing output. “

    This line of thinking was reinforced in the more recent report of “Economists for Free Trade” (which is what the “Economists for Brexit” have renamed themselves). That report (and associated rosy forecasts) was launched with the help of Jacob Rees-Mogg in November 2017 and recommends essentially exactly the course outlined in the above text (unilateral abolition of tariffs. Trade with the EU on WTO terms etc.)

    The bottom line is that these people don’t think we should be building “volume” cars. There’s not much future for the 4 firms listed above in the case of a “no deal” or “WTO terms” Brexit – as they are more dependent on the EU market (which took 53% of UK car exports in 2017) while at the same time those multinationals have alternative “global” markets largely covered already by plants in region (so would not divert UK production there). JLR and Mini are probably better placed but it still doesn’t look good… All of which means that in the medium to long term the list of popular models built in the UK is likely to be even shorter (Astra and Auris already under threat). Which means that even with tariffs we may end up importing more cars from the EU than now (and paying more for them). Minford & Co. expect everyone to switch to buying cheaper imports from places like South Korea (part of the “consumer prices falling 8%” bit in the above passage) – but I personally doubt that will happen to the extent he envisages (partly due to resale value issues). I suspect Ford and Vauxhall will still have a strong market share in the UK in 2028 (as in 2018, 2008, 1998, 1988 etc. etc. ) and they will be supplying it with cars like Corsa and Fiesta built in the EU (perhaps with reduced spec. to blunt the impact of tariffs). So we will have junked part of our car industry, lost a lot of employment, end up importing more cars than before and exporting less, and end up paying more for a lot of those imported cars, which is the reverse of the economic impact expected by Minford – who expects a shift to cheaper imports to “release” money to stimulate the economy – hence those rosy predictions you may have seen in the press for a “£135 billion boost to the economy from Brexit” (over 2020-25).

    If nothing else – these issues demand more debate.

  14. I just think that it is tragic, that now we have the surviving parts of British Leyland – MINI, Jaguar Land Rover, Unipart and Leyland Trucks which, after decades of cock-ups, missed opportunities, financial turmoil and false starts have emerged from the wreckage of the 1970s and are now highly successful and profitable companies and Brexit could/will scupper the fortunes of all of them and undo all that has been achieved. It must be stopped.

  15. I have been amazed at the number of South Korean Automotive product I see already on UK roads in the past few years. My younger brother who now for decades has always bought foreign ( despite once telling me the most reliable car he ever had was a … wait for it … A Rover! ) told me he had a shock when getting hos nice BMW 6-pot Cabriloet which has been in the family since new, needed in excess of £1000 on suspension renewals alon for the Mot, has decided to get rid. He told me he is seriously thinking of getting a new … KIA!… He’s had Oriental product in the past.

    He is far from alone if I look at what is now parked in front of near neighbours’ garages and what fills many parking spaces local supermarket car parks. Not forgetting those ever longer Motorway Traffic hold ups.

    Apparently of all the EU states, with the exception of the home country, BMW’s nicest “little earner” and fattest margins is not on the EU Mainland, it is guess where ? Correct … Got it in one!

    Hells Bells, us Brits will have control to start making our own cars rather than assemble those for foreighn owned companies here who years ago threatened that when it suits them, not us, they will upsticks and leave. They will still want to sell their stuff here to take advantage of fatter margins.

    Reading some of the posts here leaves me wondering if any, like me, have run their own business trading internationally. Know what, Johnnie Foreigner on the EU mainland rarely plays fair. Unlike some mug Nation EU Member I could mention.

    • Don’t forget Skoda, who like Kia were once, seen as a joke car for people who couldn’t afford anything better. I’ve bought a Skoda recently and the quality of the interior fittings, the smooth and economical engine, and the large boot are a revelation after the cheap, shiny plastic and fake chrome on the Nissan Micra I had before.

      • Right Glenn… Skodas are a popular choice these days and with VW engineering & build quality behind them they are a more desirable choice. one of my colleagues has recently got a Favorit in white with red roof & mirrors. looks good

  16. As a person viewing this whole episode from afar it would appear that those interested enough to vote got there wish, if you are against it why did you not vote?.

  17. The problem is this has been started by right wing nutjobs like Reece-Mogg who Cameron thought he would defeat by winning the referendum and shut them up for good. However many Brits peed off with what they saw as the huge influx of johnny foreigner invading our country wanted to say no more immigration, and stupidly believed the rhetoric that we could be outside the EU with free trade at no financial cost voted to leave without actually looking at how it would work!
    Any one in their right mind will see that the EU don’t need Britain, as those so called trade agreements that we will sign, will more likely be aimed at by the EU after Brexit so why would they trade with Britain? Being part of EFTA, like Norway, who pay to gain free access to the EU markets would be the best bet but this looks unlikely as those same right wing tails are still wagging the dog in the Tory party.
    Its not to say I was not against the EU – its a bureaucratic monstrosity that is a drain on all EU taxpayers, but I would have preferred a 3rd option on the ballot – EU reform. The free market is what Brits signed up to in the 70s, not the political mess that Maggie got us into bed in.

    • And how would you secure EU reform ? No one has been able to do so in 40 or so years of trying . The EU is a political time bomb just waiting to explode. The best defence to that is not to be part of the EU when the inevitable catastrophe happens

    • EU reform – YES. But you can’t reform it if you’re not in it. And hadn’t we renegotiated our terms thrice before? Makes you think, maybe?

  18. It’s a complicated issue, and while I’m not convinced our negotiators know what they are doing, I don’t trust many of their critics either. In terms of the car industry it is global, and highly integrated, but not just inside the EU.

    When the Ford Transit plant in Southampton closed, production moved not to an EU country, but to Turkey (a country with a Customs Union agreement with the EU on manufactured goods but not services or agricultural products)

    The dubious Ford Ecosport was initially made in India, before production was shifted to Romania, so now within the EU though I don’t think that was a major issue beforehand.

    The Toyota C-HR crossover is also made in Turkey

  19. Im mildly amazed anyone actually think much car manufacture will remain in the UK post Brexit. Whilst they’ve confirmed pioneering electric development will happen in the uk, the movement of Mini production to Germany / Eastern Europe is surely just a matter of time. (Same too for the Vauxhall Ellesmere Port plant).

  20. As I used to trade internationally, exchanged rates were always of a prime interest to me.

    Stand by for another illustration of FAKE NEWS by our privilged and biased Media and Political Classes. When the Referendum result became the NEWS, cue those media and political types who wanted IN highlighting the exchange rate changes at the time. Headlines like lowest exchange rates against the US$ for 35 years! How convenient. That was at the time I traded and had they have used 36 years instead when the UK £ v. US $ was @ PARITY … One for one, that would have meant a different ( ie less alarming ) headline.

    FAKE NEWS is alive, thriving and well living here in the UK and elsewhere by those news vendors where it suits their agenda.

    Incidentally, the current UK £ and EU Euro exchange is close to the exchange rate before those who thought the result of the referendum was “In the bag” David Cameron style were proven WRONG. So how come that “recovery” ( rolleyes ) of the exchange is hardly worth a mention. Don’t bother answering all you naysayers, I am fully conversant with the reasons why … Does not suit their FAKE NEWS agenda.

    Consume their FAKE NEWS of it suits, include me out!

    • The excahnge rate on the 22nd June was 1.3018 Euro to the GBP, today I see it is at moment 1.0946 so it is 16% lower!

      So we can conclude the person peddling fake news around here is you, with your lie that the exchange rate has recovered.

      • Graham : if we take a longer view of currency fluctuations , which is the only proper professional approach, rather than the George Soros gambling approach, we find that 5 years ago today, the Euro was at 1.16 to the pound. Today, it is ( spot rate ) 1.128 a difference of less than 3%. Perhaps you will now apologise to Big John for your ( sadly typically ) rude and intemperate posting

        • With regard to the exchange rate, I am not sure that is a fair description of the position. If we are going to take a longer view, then surely average figures would be a better guide, rather than at two points at either end of the timeline?

          If we look at monthly average figures over the past 5 years from March 2013 to date, then that average has been 1.23 Euro to GBP. It was 1.13 in March 2013, rising to 1.42 in November 2015 but down to 1.28 in May 2016 and 1.27 in the month of the referendum, June 2016. The average for this month up to yesterday was 1.13.

          The average of the last ten years was 1.21.

          So over the average value of the last 5 years, the fall is I think about 9%, still a considerable difference that has not been recovered.

          That makes our holidays in Europe more expensive for us, but UK holidays for Europeans more affordable.

          • Well said.

            He just choose 5 years ago because the UK had just lost its 3A rating so the Pound had taken a drive. If you look at graph the pound then recovered until topping out at 1.40 plus at the end of 2015, and then it goes into decline as uncertainty starts with Brexit and it drifts down until going off the edge of a cliff on the 23 June.

            Anybody who is claiming that Sterling has reciovered to a pre Brexit position is peddling a lie, as this graph of the last 5 years shows


      • It is recovering particularly the far more important UK £ ~ UK $ Rate.

        It is invariably the US $ which is the primary International Trading Exchange tool worldwide. The EURO is of far lesser importance. Us Mug Brits dodged that poisonous bullet and rejected the EURO a few years ago. Some say more by luck than good judgement. I reserve judgement although that line has some validity based on previous UK~EU form. In any event, praise be we got that decision right. Rightly so in the opinion of most.

        Fake News that if you so desire. Sprinkle with some of the oft repeated fake media overkill line…. DESPITE BREXIT…. 🙂

        As I type this, it is blowing a gale and raining heavily. That’s BREXIT for you. Typical!

        The shakers and movers in the money markets are on constant alert to seize and manipulate any opportunity to take a greedy cut in the markets. Back in June 2016, they saw an opportunity and grabbed it. Nothing new there. When it suits them, they will strike again to take advantage. Fake News Scares invariably helps them to move in for a “Kill”. The UK voting to sever that parasitical umbilical cord to that miserably ever greedy shower in Brussels was simply another opportunity for them. So what else is new? … Roll them eyes.

        That’s that way this observer sees things based on the best evidence available to me as I travel about the green and pleasant. You and those with your mindset can produce all the facts and figures from the expert and academic know-it-all know-nowts but, however presented, it will not change the reality. Reality is a whole different kettle of ball games and some participants do not play fair and never will. Now there’s a surprising turn up for the books…er… Not!

        • Replying to Graham, perhaps it is germane to point out that the temporary 2015 rise in the Pound /Euro rate was not because of strength of sterling : it was caused by the near collapse of the Euro, with Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy all wanting to leave . That particular debacle has not gone away : it has merely been postponed, and the consequences for those four countries have been catastrophic, with ( in Iberia in particular ) levels of unemployment which are a threat to the democratic structure of those nations . Is this what Graham wants to happen to us ?

        • You have a confusing commentary that I just cannot understand. You say that you see things based upon the best evidence available to you, yet you dismiss facts and figures and expert opinion (without offering any alternative evidence or explanation) used by others because they do not change reality. Or at least the reality that you perceive. Yet at the beginning of this post you refer favourably to facts and figures, namely the £-$ exchange rate which you think is important.

          So you seem to be selecting the facts that support your view and rejecting those that don’t. I suggest that is unwise because it damages your credibility.

          However, on the £-$ exchange rate figures there are some facts. If we go again to the monthly average exchange rate over the last 5 years we see that it has been $1.47 to the £. In May 2016 it was $1.45, in June 2016 it was $1.42 and as at today the average for this month so far is $1.40. So currently it is about 4.8% down on the 5 year average and since June 2016 about 1.5% down.

          That is a fact and a figure in accordance with your post and that presumably you are happy to accept as being a reality that you agree with.

          I would make three points, but I would emphasise that I have no expertise around exchange rates or international trading. So if someone else knows better and explains it clearly, I am unlikely to argue.

          1. Although I think you are correct in saying that the $ is the primary currency of international trade, I would not dismiss the Euro. Our biggest trading partner is the European single market taking 43% of UK goods and services. So for that trade, the £ to Euro exchange rate is the primary concern and whilst Europe remains such a huge trading partner, certainly not of lesser importance. Although not all other EU countries are in the Euro, the biggest economies are.

          2. Our trade with other countries, aside from the USA, is dependent not just upon the £-$ exchange rate, but also upon the exchange rate of the purchasing country’s currency to the dollar. To be honest, I am not sure how relevant this point is, I am just trying to highlight that the £-$ rate is not the be all and end all. If someone has a better understanding, I am happy to take a lesson.

          3. If the £ strengthens against the $, then that makes our exports less competitive outside of the EU, and our imports more expensive. In fact, the average monthly £ value for the past year has been $1.31, so the current rate is making it harder to sell our goods outside of Europe. As we want to be a better trading nation post Brexit, will we be better or worse off if the £ reaches pre-Brexit rates against the $? I don’t know, but would welcome informed opinion.

    • Good reason to have joined the Euro. The fewer currencies there are, the fewer oppportunities for traders to cause mischief, mayhem and real poverty while gambling their fortunes. I sense US influence in negating our ever joining it – the US will brook no threat to the Dollar’s supremacy and the Euro threatened that big time.

  21. I agree that the exchange rate is now back to pre-vote levels…I am sure my grocery basket will shortly return to the same price as days shortly before the referendum. I do hope my buying power will be returned to me as quickly as it was lost.

    Also an immediate resurgence in all manufacturing output, our “rightful” place on the world stage and of course no nett immigration – all a slam dunk now we are on the right path.


    It is all going to turn out OK in the end, isn’t it? Actually, I think it will, but it may take some time.

    When the question appeared above about me changing my vote, I of course said no…it was crazy to decide to leave then and it still is now…but it is out of my hands…I do not think another referendum would be helpful so let’s make the best of where we are.

    Economy or immigration? That was the real referendum choice then, and it will be the choice to me made by our “leaders” in the next few days.

    Whatever happens I will still be living here and hope this great country can find some way of healing itself after all of this. If a hard Brexit is chosen then the economy will suffer for 10 years…a soft Brexit may reduce this period to less than 5 years, but either way I am optimistic that our country will come through this transition…but I do worry about how radicalisation of our younger workers who may be marginalised by lack of working opportunities may affect our social structure in the interim, and what that impact may have for us all in the longer term.

  22. Read the FT/Auto Express articles about VCA certification being no longer valid across the EU – another unintended consequence putting the UK at a significant disadvantage post Brexit….

    • Oh yee of little faith.

      PSSST! Chris C. Lauf=ghing stock you say. Just imagine how hard those “friends” of ours on the mainland will laugh all the way to their banks in the event of a UK reversal which many “It aint broke for me ” types here still seek.

      If this Nation cannot thrive and survive outside the ever larger parasitical EU Monster then just maybe it does not deserve to.

      I have rather more faith that you apparently. Yes, it wil not hapen overnight of course. There again, the millions of jobs lost including mine as a result of UK’s Membership of the EU Monster did not happen overnight. It was a cancerous creeping erosion largely passing conveniently unnoticed by the “I’m alright” types almost unseen. All very convenient of course for the “It aint broke for me” types. Yaa-boo-sucks and bollards to the rest of us. It needs fixing. The sooner the better. Past PMs have tried to get the EU Monster to reform and to become more user friendly to the UK. Every one failed miserably to do so. That will never change until that parasitically harmful connection is severed. The sooner the better for the longer term well being of the whole Nation, not just a slim segment thereof. Cor Blimee. reading that back makes me I sound like the bearded leader of the Political party I was pleased to vote for many times since the 1964 General election and the then younger breat of fresh air Harold Wilson. Cannot see me voting for the party in the red corner ever again the way things are evolving and gaining …. momentum.

      Some, nay many say we’re doomed. I for one not only hope they are wrong I am convinced they are. Speaking to the wide circle of friends of my twenty and thirty something sons, the future for the young will be brighter in the UK’s longer term. They know it will not happen overnight.

      Meantime, I have the rolling 24/7/365 News on my TV as I type this. I get the impression that their “Get May” and “Get Trump” agenda is becoming worse. God forbid they should ever not only get behind the woman PM who has the most difficult task ahead of her of any UK Prime Minister since WWII, but to actively support her in possitive ways. Fat Chance.

      Soon I will switch Channels to FREEVIEW 233 and see what media smoothies SKY pull in to comment on the headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers. Expect more of the “Get May” and Get Trump” agenda content. Go on then watch and prove me wrong. Same old same old I’d bet a nice few quid on it. The lefties will be the more vociferous. Encouraged even… :thumbsdown: Show me your money trees then… The money trees are there of course. They are the taxpayers who have to work hard to earn that hard to come by.

  23. This whole debate misses the point by miles.
    Somebody please give me an example from history of a forced political union that ended with a unified homogeneous society.
    Even 800 years after the English conquered Wales, the Welsh are trying to escape. Quite how anybody thinks a political union with the baggage of Europe is going to end in anything other than total disaster is beyond me. You need to start looking past the end of your noses to the far future. Do you want your great grandchildren to be in a continental civil war or not?

    • I would have thought that 800 years is a pretty good and stable union, but are you really suggesting that Wales is a significantly different society to the rest of the UK? I visited Wales last year and it seemed pretty homogenous with the rest of the UK to me.

      Whilst some people in Wales want independence, not all of them do and if the details in this article from July 2016 are correct,, then 35% of Welsh voters said they would vote for independence if they could stay in the EU. This article from July 2016,, says that excluding the don’t knows, then Wales would vote 53% to 47% to remain in the EU if there was a second referendum. And in this article,, Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru, is quoted as saying… ““It is my belief that this independent Wales in a completely different context to last week’s referendum would want to be a part of the European Union.”

      Now those polls are 20 months old so things might have changed, but if they are still representative then it seems that Wales only wants to split from the UK because of Brexit, and then would want to re-join the EU. An odd form of escape.

      You raise a good point about grandchildren and nobody would disagree. If they were still alive, my Grandfather who fought in the first world war, and my father who fought in the second world war, would certainly say they did not want me to have to fight in another one.

      After two world wars in the first half of the 20th century that began in mainland Europe, some of the affected countries decided to create a union, which eventually became the EU of today, with one of the objectives being to prevent their going to war again. These people clearly had the welfare of their grandchildren in mind and for more than 70 years have been successful in that objective. France and Germany, both strong believers in maintaining the EU, have much more painful memories of those wars than we have. There are problems in Europe and serious risks of some old embers flaring up again, but doesn’t it make sense to be a part of, and influencing, the union that has averted another war amongst those former enemies?

      I think my father and grandfather would be pleased at the foresight of those 1950s Europeans in preventing another war by creating a union that countries joined voluntarily, not through force. I am certainly grateful that I have never had to fight.

      When I look to the future I think that wars can best be prevented by unions and partnerships, not by division. The value of the EU is more than just economic.

  24. John, you have a strange concept of what constitutes FAKE NEWS ( your caps ).

    If I were to read “The wettest summer for 5 years” that would suggest to me that 6 years ago the summer was even wetter. Hence “lowest value for 35 years” to me acknowledges that 36 years ago it was even lower. I see no deception in that.

    Sterling did indeed devalue rapidly from $1.49 on the night before the election to $1.32 on 27th June. Most people would consider that an unusual event with significant implications and very definitely newsworthy. The recovery that you allude to from $1.32 via some deeper lows to tonight’s price of $1.38 some 18 months later is hardly the same in terms of size or speed.

    For those of us who read beyond the headlines, the article no doubt went on to report the negative aspects of this, such as it being a reflection of a lack of international confidence in our economy, and that it will increase the cost of living by making those goods that we import more expensive. And the positive aspects that it will make our exports more competitive and make our financial markets more attractive to to foreign investment.

    I’m glad that the press is like this: read a variety of publications and you will be exposed to a variety of points of view.

    It seems that you would like the press to publish only pieces that support your opinion. Whilst your views are clearly passionately held your attempts to discredit anything that challenges them as conspiracy and lies does you no favours.

    Have you ever described yourself as a very stable genius?

  25. Indeed how the hell did we end up here? Ask any Mailtard or Expesstard what advantage we’ll get from leaving Europe and the single market and they will cry – we will be able to trade with the rest of the world! Well JLR’s results are in and their biggest growth markets yet again are China and the US – all achieved whilst the UK remains in Europe! Do they imagine for one minute that in March 2019 or after whatever transition period takes place we will have negotiated trade deals as good as let alone better than the arrangements we have negotiated as part of the EU with these countries? And even if we do end up with similar trade arrangements with them we will likely have thrown away tariff free/frictionless trade with one of the worlds largest trading blocks just a few miles across the English Channel. Meanwhile whilst all the Government does is try and find a Brexit solution that will do bugger all for the country, but allow it to keep it limping on in office, the real issues – Health, Education, Transport Infrastructure etc are all being ignored and all being comprehensively trashed before our eyes. “Great” Britain? Bloody laughing stock more like. I could weep.

  26. To add something to my previous (rather long) comment trying to alert people who care about the future of UK car manufacturing to what is being discussed in the “ivory towers” of the “hard Brexiteers” the following passage is copied directly from the report published yesterday (Feb 12th 2018) by The Policy Exchange.

    “The British economy does not have to produce its own food, cars or textiles to be a success – and especially so, if these industries are not sustainable without tariff protection. Australia, for example, recently ended domestic car production”.

    This report, by a group of right-wing economists, got major coverage in the press yesterday (Feb 12th 2018). It was the basis for an article in the Daily Telegraph (for example) headlined “Scrap tariffs to pile pressure on EU for best Brexit deal, ministers told”.

    The full report can be downloaded from the Policy Exchange website. Essentially it accepts that a “hard Brexit” (unilateral abolition of import tariffs combined with trade with the EU on “WTO terms”) would be bad news for the car industry in the UK, but sees this as “a price worth paying”.

    I am fairly certain that many of the people who cheer on supporters of “hard Brexit” such as Jacob Rees-Mogg are unaware of this (and much else which tends to be kept in the shadows).

    Brexit as such need not be a disaster for car manufacturing in the UK. If today’s tariff-free and frictionless access to the 27 countries of the EU market (which took 53% of car exports from the UK in 2017 – or around half of total production) can be maintained, if disruption to supply chains is minimized, if the UK is still able to export to countries beyond the EU under the terms of current EU free trade agreements with those countries (that accounts for an additional 10% of UK car exports), and if something can be negotiated regarding “rules of origin” so that cars built by Ford on the continent (for example) with British sourced engines from Bridgend/Dagenham, are not disqualified from being of “EU origin” and thus excluded from those same free trade agreements – then everything may continue much as today.

    But all those points depend on a comprehensive deal being negotiated with the EU (which remains the official objective of the government). It’s the calls from the right – for “no deal”, for a “clean break”, for “just walking away” etc. which should worry people (like myself) who hope that car manufacturing in the UK is not about to start shrinking.

    • Chris, that “soft” severance that would be the ideal you seek was never on the cards ever since the polls closed on 23-06-2016. That’s why a No Deal is becoming increasingly a more attractive option. Of course that will come along with some real concerns. The ideal for this Nation will never be available. The very existence of the EU is under threat since our referendum and for that reason, our “friends” on the mainland who never play fair will maintain that stance. Numerous UK PMs have tried to negotiate with the EU with beneficial to the UK reforms in mind and all have failed miserably to secure them. That will never change. Get used to it … I have.

      You mention Australia no longer has in-house car manufacturing plans. Apples, Pears and even Oranges comparison scenario. Unlike these small Islands, massive Australia has a huge reserve of natural resources to exploit and provide employment which is in effect far more beneficial to their much smaller population land mass resource ratio. Compare that to the situation here in the UK. Our main natural resource is the work ethic of the people. Consider the disproportionate UK ~ population size ratio. The comparison is beyond apples and oranges. Australia puts their Nation 1st as anyone viewing their immigration strict guidelines policy will soon reveal. Rightly so. with so much Natural Resources and relatively fewer people to provide worthwhile jobs and carers for, do they need a car industry at the moment? …. Anyway, the indigenous volume UK Car Industry finally moved from being an endangered species on the RED LIST to complete extinction back in April 2005. Not without some considerable bad judgement UK Government assist. Indeed, there were news reports that they deliberately managed things in such a way to torpedo any chance of a joint-venture or partnership with an Oriental company simply because by then the asset stripped remnants of the once massively asset rich former Rover Group was a private company. There again, those news reports could well have been inaccurate… fake even…..

      One needs to pose the question: Does the UK have a Car Industry? … no it does not. All the volume outfits currently here are now in alien ownership and control. That in effect, means they are “trojan horse” arrangements who have frequently warned long before any sign of a referendum, when it suits them they will up sticks and be gone. That they have not is due to those news reports ( ? fake ) that many under the counter financial inducements to stay were involved. There’s always more to these things than we are allowed to have access to on a “need to know” basis.

      When it suits them, not us, the so called “UK Car Industry” will be gone. Simply a matter of time. They marked our cards many moons ago. Do not take my word for it, ask the folks around Eastleigh and elsewhere who used to build Transits. News reports at the time of that move away from the UK suggested it was assisted in no small way by our own money man Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mind you, that was probably FAKE.

      It’s what we as a Nation do… or just maybe DID. Here the past participle may be deployed with less fake news accuracy since June 23rd 2016.

      Still, why should I give a care or damn? So, yah-boo-sucks to all you plebs…. I’m Alright Jack ….
      /… for now.

      • John, The reference to Australia was not mine. It is a quote taken from the report of the Policy Exchange (as I think I made pretty clear). I flagged it up to illustrate how the “thinkers” behind a “unilateral abolition of tariffs” Brexit – (which incidentally, certainly wasn’t on the ballot paper in 2016) have already begun thinking in terms of a large scale contraction of car manufacturing in the UK. It certainly is a bad parallel (though that didn’t stop them choosing it) because the Australian car industry (all of it “foreign owned” incidentally) was almost totally focused on the small domestic market – and always struggled to be internationally competitive (meaning Australians were paying more for their cars than they needed to one could argue).
        Car manufacturing in the UK is totally different. It’s much larger and focused heavily on export. As the SMMT data (which I notice in your many posts you seem to distrust for some reason) makes crystal clear, 8 out of 10 cars manufactured in the UK were exported in 2017. Of those 1.35 Million exports, 53.9% went to the other 27 countries of the EU (not including the UK as you seem to think – those wouldn’t be “exports”). And those 27 EU countries were the “end destination”. There is not some kind of “Rotterdam effect” distorting the figures. A further 15.7% of exports went to the USA. These kind of statistics are recognized internationally as accurate. I’ve included a link to the full SMMT data for 2017 and I strongly recommend anyone who cares about the future of car manufacturing in the UK reads it.
        Rather tragically, it seems that with the car industry, as with so many other things likely to be impacted by Brexit – people are becoming educated about the realities of the industrial landscape in Britain only through the process of destruction. “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” as the song goes ….

        • You write as though mnassive contraction of UK Industry including the automotive sector is some new phenomenon. It is not. I will repeat one more time, those plants in alien ownership and control have warned many, many times years, nay over a decade ago that when it suits them, not us, they will be gone.

          That the Japanese trio, Ford and GM are still here with token foothold plants is mainly due to Government inducements using taxpayers’ hard to come by.

          Inducements come in many forms. Decades ago my daily commutes in my very reliable British car covering many thousands of miles, took me past a beautiful greenfield site now covered by Honda Plant. Saw it being erected each day I passed. Access to greenfield sites just one inducement. Same with some of the others whilst the now rust belt which was Londbridge reminds me of when I drove past empty places like Ryton and elsewhere. This “massive contraction” of UK Industry has been ongoing for decades. It is nothing new and not BREXIT related. It has been generated by the poor decision short term myopic quick fixes by those we entrust to the Nation’s well being demonstrating time and again that they are not fit for purpose. They will not understand the meaning of longer term if you buried them under a pile of Dictionaries. As it does not immediately or ever impact on any of thjobs for life who suck for decades on the taxpayers’ teats, in my opinion that means they do not have any motivation to really care. Things are just fine and aint broke … for them.

          There are notable exceptions. A few really do care who have all the benefits of a privileged background, taxpayer generous jobs for life and an upbringing that would enable them to be like the majority of the “It aint broke for me” remainers, cushioned against realities which face the less fortunate every day.

          Here we must accuse the likes of Farage, Rees-Mogg and Boris J of being guilty of caring. Yes caring sufficiently when always cushioned against those harsher realities most of the rest of us face. Thus there’s no real incentive to put their heads above the fence and get shot at with their stance on severing the increasingly parasitical connection to the thriving Nations ( Cue much eye rolling ) of the Union on the mainland.

          That they do set themselves up as an easy meat target for the more vociferous aspects of remainer-rage, particularly by our oh so unbiased UK media, demonstrates to me a level of sincerity and integrity few others of those we entrust to the Nation’s well being possess.

          Now tell me my judgement of my fellow men and women is suspect, nay… all a’cock despite more than three decades of paying attention observing them.

          I watched the BBC News coverage of the BJ ( 🙂 ) speech earlier. BBC posted alongside it a panel showing emails from viewers. In the interests of unbiased balance, every one was full of excessive negativity. Not a single positive shown up to the time I switched over to SKY coverage of the speech and questions.

          Now retired, a close acquaintance worked in the BBC for most of their career. If a topic received 1000 letters and 99% were for or against, the broadcasting organ would select say two of each side to broadcast which gave the false impression of equal responses when the exact opposite was the reality. That was a long time ago and I would argue back then that the BBC is very balanced and unbiased on things like this. With the passing of time I now see abd realise I was wrong and the words straight from “the Horse’s mouth” were indeed the more accurate appraisal of the situation.

          O U T ….The sooner the better. With the longer term, not quick fix immediate future in mind. This Nation has gone it alone in many tough situations in the past and succeeded. I believe it still has sufficient quantities of the “Right Stuff” to be successful again.

  27. Amazing isn’t it? We lead the world in Motorsport technology yet we can’t design, build and manufacture a volume car under a wholly British flag that every UK driver can afford and would be proud to own. I don’t believe this has happened by accident.

    Why is it that those that wish to remain in the EU are aggressive in their language? ‘right wing nutjob’ ‘Mailtard or Expesstard’ A famous prime minister once said that to resort to insult means that your argument is lost.

    It needs to be realised that the economy was not the main reason why the majority who voted out did so and recent negotiations have exposed the EU for what they really are. People are seeing their neighbourhoods, towns and cities changing almost overnight, medical appointments hard to come by and housing in short supply, they maybe naive, but these are the real issues for the majority of the 52%.

    One final thought if Rees-Mogg is a nutjob, what does that make Anna Sobury?

    • Motorsport designers only need to meet a spec, with almost no worries about marketing & production quality that BL, Chrysler UK et al managed to get as near as “play to lose” as possible in the 1970s, hence no home grown car industry.

      The remainers are aggressive because they can see the country has been sold a pup & trying their best to reverse it, even a Norway style soft deal would probably make enough happy, but the government is trying their best to go for a hard brexit without any kind of plan. As can be seen above the leavers are just as rabid if not more so, like a bunch of zombies in some cases.

      If people are going to blame immigrants rather than the long term unemployed then nothing will be sorted, remember nature abhors a vacuum.

      • You’re absolutely right the long term unemployed are a problem but they’re our own homegrown problem. Importing 250,000 people every year offering them healthcare, homes and other assorted benefits, not to mention policing and burdening our infrastructure is not going to ‘sort’ it.

        Bringing in people to do the low paid jobs (which is exactly what globalists want) will not get our own people back to work and remember not all immigrants work and horror of horrors they too get old, its all one big ponzi scheme.

        • Yet KGC there are those, like the bearded Money Tree Grower in the Red Corner, would have us believe that the NHS is underfunded. The truth is that it consumes huge amounts of the UK taxpayers, not the Governement’s money. It is NOT under funded, it is over subscribed by demand.

          Then again there are those who accuse the likes of Farage of spinning the “Health Tourism” myth.

          Not recently but about ten years ago, pensioner me took an aged relative to the outpatients at the main City Hospital. My heart sank when we arrived. The waiting room was heaving with folks waiting for appointments. The fact that my elderly relative and I were almost certainly the only two folks there with English as their first language is merely pure coincidence.

          Move on five years and see me at Terminal 5 Arrivals Heathrow waiting to picvk up my son. Killing some time, got talking to an immigrant taxi driver waiting for a pick-up. We saw a heavily gravid female waddling towards the taxis. He remarked that that is far from an unusual sight, his brother works at a nearby NHS facility and confirms the situation about the health tourism myth is no myth at all.

          Only last year, Mrs Big John asked me to pop into the local Drs Surgery and pick up a prescription for here. Again I was sixth in the queue for service at the reception and I listened to the folks in front of me in the queue as they spoke to the receptionist.Again I’d bet a nice few quid that those where English is not the first language outnumbered the likes of me where it was.

          Finally, regarding first language, that immigrant taxi driver at heathrow told me that those “arrivals” often have some English, with phrases like “I want Hospital NHS”… that from an immigrant of all people! He had very god English by the way despite English not being his first language.

          Still our “anti” media stress immigration has negligible effect on the NHS. Then moving swiftly on, they report the news item of that gravid female with her four fetuses diverting from Trump’s America to England to have them delivered. That caused some stir but, the media soon produced some “nothing to worry about here” know-all experts who advise that the half a million that single visit cost the British taxpayers and the NHS was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things.

          You couldn’t make this stuff up!

          I always regarded that Farage geezer as a bit of a pork pie vendor. Health Tourism.. As if…Just one of his many porkies….

          Just one facet of what is happening and will continue as the world and his wife form queues to take advantage of a generous Nation… full of mugs!

          Praise be that on June 23rd 2016, the Nation of mugs may just have woken up in time to actually do something about the negative aspects of our open door free access to all policies and EU membership in sufficient numbers to ensure positive and worthwhile changes. Before those queues of non UK passport holders to gain access to UK largess get much longer. It not about racism, it really IS a simple matter of economics and securing a better future for the longer well being of this Nation and its people. Not to do anything about it does not bear thinking about. Those that think this little Nation is sufficiently rich enough to right all the wrongs of the Planet are quite simply wrong. Britain has indulged that futile pursuit a few times in the not too distant past and is still paying for it with ever increasing debt.

          Our “we’re cleverer than yow” media still mainly would have us ignorant plebs believe that the way things are should continue to be and is the way to go. Way to go being the operative words and so very apt. Pay yourselves even more media classes, you are so obviously meritoriously worthy.

          • Well said, our media are a big problem (the BBC being the biggest protagonist) always talking the UK down. Sadly vast swathes of the population can’t see this.

    • Some salient points there KGC.

      Particularly your good closing question. Anna Soubry is an ex-media news presenter turned Member of Parliament who the media repeatedly pull up every time they deploy their anti-OUT mode. Which appears very frequently with precious few presenter exceptions, to be the main thrust of their “We’re ever so cleverer than you OUT plebs” highly over rewarded presenter line up.

      Soubry is rightly concerned for her constituents who may lose jobs as a result of the severance from the EU. Good for her. That unfortunately is far from the overall picture. What she and the numerous media types who put her so frequently in front of the cameras fail miserably to do, is ask her how many millions of UK jobs have been destroyed or moved to the mainland as a result of the forty odd years of the UK’s membership of the parasitical monster so called Union of Europe. Indeed, that UK jobs to the EU mainland process has been the less than covert EU agenda for decades.

      Here those media failures to highlight such things purely in the interest of what they tell us is unbiased and balanced reporting are headed by no less than the statute funded Broadcasting Organ. Talk about cushioned against the harsher realities most of the rest of us face daily with their guaranteed fat revenue stream, they can afford their “Why fix it if it aint broke” stance. Indeed, spend more time finding ways to increase their already excessively greedy disproportionate remuneration package…because they are so worth it! It aint broke for them with that guaranteed revenue stream which, provided it is not news of the fake variety, includes some of the UK Taxapayers’ hard to come by to the EU being re-channelled directly back to the BBC from that shower in Brussels. Maybe such reports are fake… Roll those eyes.

      Never mind the quality of their fake news balance and lack of bias, feel the width of their unbiased balanced reporting of the whole range of facts … er… as they see them. Not to be confused with what those facts actually are!

      News just in :~

      Over on another very cosmopolitan Car Enthusiasts’ web site, there’s a long running topic ( seven years no less ) entitled :~

      “Political bias at BBC – something has to be done surely”

      Makes for some interesting reading comparing the various exchanges of opinions on that topic. A search should turn it up if anyone is sufficiently interested.

      Anna Soubry can never be accused of being guilty of telling the whole story as it really is. Media imbalance and bias still permeates her every fibre. It appears permanent and no known cure.

      Only in the UK… Still excelling at …. you know the rest or should do.

      The media will never warm to Jacob Rees-Mogg. He is exceedingly guilty of telling it like it is even if some of what he says will harm his position in the political scene. Unlike single parent raised East End of Old London Town accent moi, I can look and listen beyond his obvious privileged status in life. He has unusual qualities which I admire and are rarely found in any UK politician. That he along with Farage can tie the “We’re cleverer that you” media types up in knots without the need for crib sheets in front of them, are very admirable qualities in my books. I write as someone who has mainly voted for the team in Red for most of my adult life so my bias maybe a tad obvious to some. However, this “Leopard” has changed the spots of a lifetime in recent years. I even became a paying member of a Political Party for a period. Not now and it was not a party in either the Red or Blue corner… 🙂

      Ever onwards and the sooner the better.

      Hey! Wonders never cease. It’s actually stopped raining heavily and the gale force winds have subsided. I can venture out and do some much needed TLC on my old MGs and Rovers.

      Praise be! Brexit delivers yet again.. :ROFL:

    • No – KGC – The disappearance of a “native” volume car industry has not happened by accident. You are right.
      As regular readers of AROnline will know, it has happened as a consequence of the industrial strategy of the British government.
      In a nutshell – having concentrated nearly all of our “indigenous” car industry into one company (BL) and having attempted to help it compete through generous subsidies (BL received over £2 billion in government aid over 1975-85 – around £12 billion in today’s money) – the Conservative government of the ’80s developed an industrial strategy for the automotive sector which revolved around encouraging foreign investment.
      A lot of effort was spent “seducing” the Japanese to make the UK their European production base. In 1985-86 Nissan was receiving government aid to build their Sunderland plant at the same time as Austin Rover was being told to scale back investment (and cancel projects like the AR6 Metro replacement) because the government refused to provide the required funding.

      Seen from Whitehall, such inward investment delivered nearly all the economic benefits for the UK that might have been expected from a strong, recovered and internationally competitive BL – a prospect which by the early eighties the policy-makers had given up hope on. (Namely – exports plus import substitution to help the trade balance, Jobs and the associated tax revenues, Corporation tax revenues (rather than the subsidies traditionally associated with BL), regional prosperity and valuable work for British companies in the supply chain.

      And who were the people driving this strategy? Ironically they are cut from the same cloth (and in some cases are the same people) as those now arguing for a “hard Brexit”. Free-marketeers opposed to state intervention in industry, whose ethos dictates that if a British industry cannot compete internationally unaided, it should be left to die.

      Perhaps the best example in John Redwood. In the eighties he was working in the CPRS (Central Policy Review Staff) attached to Downing Street. He was instrumental in driving forward the strategy that saw BL forced to become increasingly reliant on Honda and give up most “indigenous” vehicle development – while pushing hard for privatization. (You may remember BL was almost sold off to Ford and/or GM in 1986 – with only fear of a public outcry in the wake of Westland stopping the sale).

      The shape of today’s automotive sector in the UK was largely determined in that period – by such people. Worth thinking about.

      • I thought it ironic that Nigel Lawson wants to destroy the few positive achievements for working class people the Tories did in the 1980s when he was chancellor.

      • Chris
        The problem with blaming the Thatcher government of the Eighties is the fact that it had heavilly invested in BL, and Austin Rover in particular, blew it big time with the Maestro and Montego. Had they sold in anything like the numbers expected, the governments industrial strategy may have been wholly different. These cars completely destroyed the governments confidence in the British motor industry. It is alright bemoaning the govenments lack of investment in the AR6, but Austin Rover had just demonstrated that they were completely incapable of delivering reliable well put together cars, and inviting the Japanese in seemed a sensible solution at the time.

        • Lionel – I agree with you.
          The point I was trying to make was that the shape of the car manufacturing sector in the UK owes a lot to decisions made in the eighties.
          JLR & Mini are slightly different (being more premium and more globally focused) but Nissan, Toyota and Honda are all here because of the industrial strategy developed then – by people like John Redwood.
          Which was to “exploit” our EU membership by making the UK the European manufacturing base for the Japanese car industry (something which created a lot of tension in Europe at the time with accusations of Britain becoming a “Japanese aircraft carrier” etc.) and curtail support/sell off BL.
          This strategy has worked well in that the UK now manufactures far more cars than in the eighties and exports more to the EU than then – with those Japanese firms (plus PSA-Vauxhall) being dependent on the EU27 market for around 70% of their output.
          Up until now – one can argue that decisions made in the eighties were the right ones. As free marketeers (from Alan Walters downwards) argued then it made more sense to foster an internationally competitive (and international) industry in our country rather than continue to try and prop up BL which had demonstrated (with Maestro & Montegos’ underwhelming performance as you say) that it could never be rebuilt into a kind of “British Renault” (largely due to having lost its former dominant position in the UK without building strength in export markets (sometimes called “wasting major syndrome” by industry observers).
          But having been led down that route by those “free marketeers” we now find ourselves with a car manufacturing sector which is very exposed to the implications of a “hard Brexit” – of the type recommended by those very same “free marketeers” today.
          The Japanese firms and PSA-Vauxhall are relatively “footloose” in that they are liable to re-locate out of the UK (or run down UK manufacturing) if the framework of the eventual Brexit settlement renders manufacturing in the UK for the European market less attractive than manufacturing within the EU27 (and we may be seeing that happen already with the decisions for the next Astra and Auris).
          It just seems to me there is a certain irresponsibility in pushing hard for the development of a car manufacturing sector in which our “indigenous” makers are gone and success depends heavily on EU membership – and then 30 or 35 years later pushing for departure from the same EU. Why build something up only to knock it down ?

  28. By the way, my thanks to Keith for kicking over this particular Anthill. It has been and continues to be very interesting reading.

  29. The UK went from balanced trade to massive trade deficits rapidly after joining the EU in 1973.
    The UK became a net importer from the EU and British exports to the EU have grown more slowly than other non EU countries like the US and Canada.
    In fact, the UK’s exports to the EU have not grown at all for a decade and are now smaller than the UK’s exports to the rest of the world.
    The overall economic growth rate of western European countries outside the of EU has been faster than those in the EU, and the UK has experienced uniquely slower growth.
    The assertion that indigenous British industry has benefited in regard to global trade, global exports, or trade within the EU via its membership in the EU, is simply not supported by the facts. To the contrary, membership in the EU appears to have exposed British markets to lower cost foreign producers while simultaneously stymieing British competitiveness with foreign regulations.

    For those concerned about the risks associated with a Brexit, look not to Britain which has little to lose and much to gain, but to the EU itself. The UK is the second largest economy in the EU. If the EU has geopolitical ambitions, losing the UK would also strip it of the bulk of its military relevancy. The UK invests 50% more in its military than the next largest EU spender, Germany.

    Germany and the UK have been the wings keeping the EU aloft. Without the UK, the EU would be left flying with one wing, heavily loaded and aerodynamically unstable. Perhaps the more pressing question is will the Germans want to remain in an EU absent the UK?

    It’s Much Ado About Not Much Trade. If no agreement is forthcoming by that March 2019, both sides might agree to extend negotiations, but that only seems likely if there is a good prospect of an agreement. Otherwise, Britain leaves and falls back on WTO trading rules, or does away with tariffs altogether. This is seen by the EU negotiators as a threat to Britain, believing it is Britain which is running out of time. If Britain wants a trade deal, she must make it clear that a no-deal option is attractive to her. The negotiations only cover a minor part of the UK’s overall economy. WTO tariffs apply to physical goods, involving only £143bn exported from the UK’s £2,000 billion economy to the EU, and imports from the EU of a larger £235.5bn. Excluding agricultural products of some £5bn (net of spirits), average trade-weighted tariffs on goods imported into the EU from non-member states without a trade agreement is only 2.3%.[i] Therefore, the EU’s external tariffs which will be applied to UK non-agricultural goods exports to the EU involves only 7.5% of the UK’s GDP, and is a tax on EU citizens amounting to roughly £2bn. Is this really worth arguing over, and paying massive divorce fees?

    The larger issue is services, differentiating between services sold to consumers, such as retail investments, and wholesale services, such as capital market operations, commercial lending, legal services, architectural services, etc. The retail services involved are not material, and in any event are easily distributed through locally-incorporated subsidiaries in Dublin and Luxembourg. Wholesale services are generally excluded from trade agreements for practical reasons.

    Therefore, if a trade agreement is not forthcoming, the cost to British business as a whole is not as material as the Remainers and lobbying businesses have it, and certainly less than the implied cost of normal currency volatility on cross-border settlements. One should conclude that the absence of a trade agreement costs considerably less than the UK Government paying money to the EU for an implementation period.

    • Which are the Western European Nations that are outside the EU, which you claim have faster growth than those within the EU? Are you going to claim that if we had not joined the EU we would have matched oil and gas rich Norway or the small industrial power house that is Switzerland?

      What are these EU regulations that you claim have killed UK industry, but somehow don’t seem to affect German and Swedish manufactuers for example?

      You make lots of assertions but you provide no evidence, as Hitchen’s would say extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and yet you provide none!

  30. Please someone explain to me the point of this article.

    Yes the UK motor industry is important. JLR is the biggest player by far (26 billion turnover compared to 5 billion for Nissan UK). 80% of their sales are not to the EU.

    So what’s the issue?

    Worst case scenario (and it’s highly unlikely) is that there’s a mutual 10& tariff for about two months until BMW screams blue murder, at which point there’ll be an FTA agreed in no time.

    Meanwhile the UK does its own trade deals with India, the US and China.

  31. I well remember the glory days before entering the EU and can’t wait for the return of the three day week. If we couldn’t survive outside the EU without sliding into “managed decline” in the 60s and 70s then it will be interesting to see what happens next.

      • Yes I remember that well working and living through the 3 day week… Despite the obvious problems of the 3 day week, it soon emerged that it united the Nation and overcame any adverse effects. Folks really were more friendly, helpful and cooperative during that period.

        Should a similar adverse circumstance occur now, I doubt that would be the case in the current me, me me and I’m alright environment. Remainer-rage everywhere both on and off our roads too so obviously BREXIT must carry the blame for that … 😉

        Remainer-rage…. you heard it here last.

      • Apart from that he’s quite accurate, especially with no trade deals in place, that too many people who should know better think can be drafted up in a few days instead of the years they will take.

        • Anyone with even a passing knowledge of modern history knows the domestic decline spanned the 60’s to the 80’s and most of the 70’s was spent inside the Common Market.

          Of course there will be trade deals and there will be specific trade agreements, not just FTA’s and overall trade treaties. And trade will continue and tarrifs and quota’s can also take time to put up as much as they can come down quickly. Yes I know its not simple and black and white. Life’s like that. That’s common sense, not just hoped-for prediction and supposition such as yours. How many times will some get the forecasts wrong before admitting the fault lies with them?

          I’m looking forward to part 2 of this article where Keith predicts the rise to 3.5 million of UK car production because the customs union split apparently means production goes to where the market is. Or were none of you clever enough to get that?

  32. Plenty of evidence as soon as you step away from the mainstream Guardianista press and start to think for yourself.
    Western European Nations outside EU: Iceland, Switzerland, Croatia until 2014, and Norway. BTW we were oil/gas/coal rich like Norway. The UK was also an industrial powerhouse up until the 1970s. BL was the largest car company in the world larger than GM. You probably dont remember. I can remember being proud of the cars, motorcycles, trains and planes we produced, all world class.
    EU regulations. It’s pretty obvious you arén’t an engineer. Well take consumer water meters as a trivial example. A few years ago I was involved in the purchase of several thousand of these. Due to a poor specification we were trying to clutch at straws and found some text in the specs that referenced EU standards. I found 5 pieces of legislation on these little rascals going back to the 1970s all contradictory. We had to go back to the Client with our tails between our legs…
    The Swedish car industry – well Saab is no more and Volvo is a Chinese assembly company now.
    EU Legislation – look at the diesel engine fiasco. How much did that cost VW? My friend was involved with the development of the JCB diesel engine and he told me at the time there was no way diesel engines could comply with the EU emissions legislation. The EURO standards are changing each year and represent a moving target, engines are not properly debugged as before they can be the goal posts have moved again. They run inside the warranty then when they are outside start developing faults that are too expensive to rectify.
    One reason Germany has been successful as the Euro has been rigged at a value that suits the German economy. Trouble is it hasnt done much for the Southern European economies. Look on youtube for some documentaries about what its done to ordinary people in Greece.
    Anyway all this debate is pretty meaningless as Europe is broke and cant keep on printing money. One day soon the house of cards will collapse. I predict it will be the Italian banks that will precipitate it. Ever heard of TARGET II? Did you hear what Greenspan said recently about the Euro? (You seem to like name dropping).

    • Among other things – British Leyland was never bigger than General Motors. At its peak (shortly after formation in 1968) it was the second biggest car manufacturer in Europe (after Volkswagen).

    • As I suspected, no valid evidence, let look at the many lies you present.

      Norway that would be a country with larger ´natural energy resources than the UK yet a population of just 5 million people. It also of course has an open border with the EU and adopts EU regulations.

      Croatia, since when was Croatia in Western Europe! You would have to reference its performance v other East European country. A country which in 2012 voted 68% to join the EU.

      Switzerland a country which has passed much of the EU legislation so it be part of the single market.

      As for the Britain being an “Industrial Powerhouse until the 1970s” and the false statement “BL was a bigger car producer than GM”. Your ignorance astounds me, clearly you do not know your history and its clear you could learn much by reading this excellent Web Site. I would also point out to you that the UK Motorcycle industry was all but dead by the time we joined the Common Market. Its since risen again in its small way while we have been members of the EU.

      Some guff about Water Meters, which really does not make any sense, given that such legislation (if it ever existed and is not some Brexit Wet Dream you have had) is applied via an EU directive, which are then adopted into each nations own national legislation through a process of alignment. If you found the regulations confusing in the UK, then your issue is with the “UK Sovereign Parliament” not the EU.

      Volvo is not a Chinese assembly company, AB Volvo that manufacturers Truck, Bus, Construction Equipment, Marine Engines and Power Generators under the Volvo, Renault Truck, Mack Truck, United Diesel and has global partnerships throughout the world and is a Swedish owned company.

      Volvo Cars which is owned by Geeley, not only designs, engineers and manufactures its cars in Sweden, but also Geeley is establishing its new Global design centre in Gothenburg.

      the Euro emission standards do not change each year
      Euro 1 was 92
      Euro 2 was 96
      Euro 3 was 00
      Euro 4 was 05
      Euro 5a was 09
      Euro 5b was 11
      Euro 6 was 14

      And it is utter rubbish that a Diesel Engine cannot be manufactured to meet these Standards.

      And finally the often repeated Brexit lie that Germany has rigged the Euro to boost its exports. Let us look however at the evidence, if the Euro was at an artificially low level the German economy would as a result be suffering inflation. German inflation is at 1.6% v the UK rate of 3%, from which we can conclude the Euro rate is not out of balance with the German economy.

      So we can conclude that you have no evidence to support your bizarre view that the UK decline as a manufacturer was induced by us joining the Common Market.

  33. It seems you are unable to debate without being rude and making snide and demeaning comments as i see your other postings. This isn’t really the forum for this and out of respect for the good work Keith does I will not say what I would like to!

    You also use a well known tactic of making false assumptions that the person you disagree with never made then rubbishing them. This manner of discourse appears to be typical of remoaners. Hence I aren’t going to waste my time refuting most of your so-called fallacious ‘facts’ and arguments.

    e.g. Where did I attribute the decline of the UK motorcycle industry to the EU? I just said I was proud of it in the 1960s. Incidentally you dont seem to know much about that either.

    As I said you obviously aren’t an engineer! (I notice you didn’t answer that one) You evidently don’t understand how products are specified. No point in wasting my time explaining when you insult my intelligence.

    ‘the Euro emission standards do not change each year’. Yes sorry every couple of years until VW put a stop to it.You also only referred to ONE set of Euro emission standards – actually there are 8 but lets not let facts get in the way.

    You also don’t understand how dirty diesel engines inherently are and seem to know more about them than the engineers on the JCB diesel engine program.

    You said
    “it is utter rubbish that a Diesel Engine cannot be manufactured to meet these Standards.”

    A new study (Sept 2017) by the independent research organization International Council on Clean Transportation compiles the test results for 541 Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel passenger cars. For Euro 6 vehicles, the average real-world level of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions is 4.5 times above the Euro 6 limit. Only 10% of Euro 6 cars outperform the Euro 6 limit, while the rest of vehicles exceed the Euro 6 standard by up to 12 times. (this WHY VW and others were fudging the tests – because they cant meet the standards!)

    Seems like you are the one talking utter rubbish.

    Not sure what the link to to an undervalued currency and inflation, its obvious you do not understand economics either. I thought the classical theory of economics stated inflation was caused by too much money chasing too few goods (excluding external price shocks). Better tell the BoE they have it wrong with the next rate rise.

    As for the comment about the Sun readers etc I think that shows a high degree of arrogance and contempt for some members of society, all too common sadly.

    • “As for the comment about the Sun readers etc I think that shows a high degree of arrogance and contempt for some members of society, all too common sadly.”

      If people just keep believing the same old lies again & again they deserve to be treated that way.

      • Lies? Have you never heard of Project Fear?

        In 2017, the UK economy expanded by 1.8% in spite of the constant barrage of adverse propaganda designed to reduce investment, discourage growth, concern the markets, and unsettle the population. The UK economy grew in 2017.

        If only we had been a member of the Euro , growth would have been stratospheric…

          • ….But in case you’ve haven’t realised we still happen to be in the EU, that figure is yet to be proved wrong..

            That was my last on this subject, there’s none so blind as those who can’t see.

            Thanks to Keith for allowing us to mull this over.

          • The figure used on the bus was correct but misleading in 3 ways. £350 million a week is the contribution to the EU but not all of it is necessarily sent to the EU as there is a rebate of about £100 million (probably sent and returned rather than not sent in the first place). Secondly there is about £90 million that goes into things from the EU as funding, which would have to be covered. Thirdly, it wasn’t quite clear enough for the less intelligent among us that it wasn’t suggesting it should all be spent on the NHS. if it had stated ‘let’s spend the money on the NHS instead’ I could understand people jumping to conclusions, but it didn’t. It said ‘lets fund the NHS instead’.

            I doubt any leave voters would change their vote if they had got the wrong idea at the time and subsequently corrected and it seems unlikely too many leave voters would make the mistake in the first place. If you are happy to admit as a remainder that you got the wrong end of the stick fine, but why are so many staunch remainders not only misreading the message on the bus, but still haven’t understood it after all this time?

            The rebate and the money that comes from the EU to fund things if taken off the total would amount to about £160 million a week – or £8 billion a year, but if your taking the funding money off you can’t also claim it won’t be there after the leave process is complete. That double entry.

            None of project fear is coming true. Nothing catastrophic has or will happen prior to leaving. The only thing negative (with some positives too) has been the fall in the Pound – due to fear and subsequent affects of that fall. The Pound is pretty much at the limit of undervaluation, unlike the Euro which is heavily over-capitalised and needs continuous easing to stop it collapsing. The Pound hasn’t also continued to fall since 2017 and there is no reason to think it would start to do so post-BREXIT.

            Post-BREXIT Confidence can lead to investment held off etc but its not real or permanent. No one’s going to ignore economic opportunities just because they worry something bad might happen but don’t know what it is (or assume something is bad without stating why. You can’t just use circular logic – that the Pound will fall because the economy will tank and the economy will tank because the Pound will fall.

            If all remainders are left with is the argument ‘we will lose out because we sell them stuff and will pay more for the stuff we buy from them’ then they’re really not very clever. Replace the words ‘we’ with ‘they’, ‘them’ with ‘us’ and add ‘in the event of no trade deal and desiring to and being able to rapidly put loads of tariffs and quotas up on both sides’ and you have a more representative though unlikely scenario. Unlikely because you have one side nose-cutting one’s face and I don’t think they’ll do that as they didn’t in Part One of the talks.

  34. I have to ask the question to the far right brexiteers here – if our economy has grown 1.8% since the Brexit vote, how much would have it grown had we voted to remain? When Brexit was being pushed by Boris and Co the EU economy was falling apart according to so called experts, however last year it grew by 2.7%, the highest amount ever since the EU has existed.

    • Utterly typical of those who wish to remain, I’m sorry but to name call people who want to have their sovereignty back and ready access to services and health care that they fund ‘far right’ is beyond the pale. A quote direct from the BBC.

      • If you actually read my earlier post I did not want to stay in the EU as it is – its a monstrosity and bureaucratic nightmare but to completely jump ship from our biggest trading partner when many of our big employers are only based here because of free trade access is just right wing rhetoric. And who did the BBC quote that from? If you think we are going to get better Health Care and services when we are outside of the EU you are much mistaken – Boris £350m a week wont be there as we wont have the taxes to pay from them.

      • Not all people in favour of Brexit are “hard right”. There’s a spectrum of options for Brexit (as we all surely know by now) – and if a sensible trade deal is agreed with Europe then the future of car manufacturing in the UK (which we are supposed to be commenting on here) need not be bleak at all.
        But there is a body of opinion on the right which, if you care about the outlook for car production in Britain (and the 170,000 jobs directly involved and much more besides) is deeply alarming.
        This “wing” of opinion is typified by the Policy Exchange (a self-acknowledged group of right-wing economists) who are among those calling for a unilateral abolition of tariffs. I’m not going to try and spell out all the implications for the automotive sector of their report in this comment (!) but suffice to say they have no qualms about contemplating a total cessation of car manufacturing in the UK. If you want to read the full report, here’s the link:
        And here’s a quote I found rather chilling:
        “The British economy does not have to produce its own food, cars or textiles to be a success – and especially so, if these industries are not sustainable without tariff protection. Australia, for example, recently ended domestic car production”.

        These people and their opinions may not be the absolute “mainstream” of Brexiteer thought but they tend to pick up a lot of support from people who think (blindly) “the harder the better”. It was of some concern that Boris Johnson chose to give his speech this week at the offices of the Policy Exchange (against a wall covered with their logo).

        And if Johnson is endorsing them, then one must mention that Jacob Rees-Mogg is endorsing the prescriptions of Patrick Minford and the “Economists for Free Trade”. He helped launch their proposals for a “WTO terms” Brexit and associated forecasts in November. Patrick Minford has been totally open about what he thinks should happen to UK manufacturing and the car industry. He expects (if his recipe is followed) that manufacturing would decline from 10% to 5% of GDP and production of “volume cars” (which one can read as Vauxhall, Honda, Toyota, Nissan) would have little future. This has been available for anyone to read since early 2016 when the report of his “Economists for Brexit” was published, though as far as I can tell almost nobody actually read it.

        I disagree with these people. I believe the UK should continue to plan for a future where we build motor vehicles, ideally roughly as many as we consume so there is not a huge trade deficit – but with the current model of most production being for export continuing.
        And although the car manufacturing sector is foreign owned that’s no reason to “write it off” as some people tend to. Let’s not forget that even 40 years ago 3 of the big 4 car manufacturers were foreign owned with the troubled British-owned BL accounting for only half of production.
        Being foreign owned doesn’t prevent the car industry from delivering huge economic benefits to the UK: Jobs, taxes paid by employees going to the Treasury, Corporation tax etc. paid to the Treasury, R&D investment, Work for (often British owned) companies in the supply chain, Prosperity for the community (who can deny that JLR is bringing great benefits to the West Midlands and Merseyside ?), A boost to the trade balance which makes us all better off. In short almost everything that could be expected of our “native” car industry and British Leyland in a good year (and there were many bad years).

      • You have no sovereignty. But combined with the other 444 million Europeans we had, as the third largest poulation after China and India, a chance to stave off the worst excesses of globalisation. You vote for a corporate-friendly government every few years; you vote for an unaccountable, untouchable corporation with almost every penny you spend. They transcend borders while we wall ourselves in. 66 million Uk subjects or 444 million Europeans (without us) – who do you think has the bigger clout?

    • I can’t speak for far-right people. There are elites and fascists on both sides I’m sure. But I’ll give it a try.

      You claim that BORIS and Co (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt you weren’t just being politically partisan in your Leave description) said the EU economy was falling apart – that wasn’t my impression of what was said on the Leave side and the EU economy wasn’t a central issue to the campaign on either side at the time. The extremism was mostly on the remain side, it was prominent and especially surrounded the central argument that the UK economy both pre- and post-BREXIT would tank. It sounds as though you are trying to detract away from this.

      The UK economy did well for some time, then had a dip the Eurozone could only dream of, and its performance drop wasn’t due to the reasons set out by those who claimed the economy would crash. A weakened Pound was considered only as a consequence of economic failure, not as a cause – or as people such as yourself seem to think as the catastrophe itself. Catastrophic was and still is the word used most but if you find it difficult to learn from your mistakes or even recognize them then will continue to make the same unfounded false claims.

      There’s no denying the UK economy has seen a slow down most likely due to the devaluation of the Pound by currency speculators but possibly due to overheating, structural and balance problems and a long period of sustained growth. By contrast after stagnating, flat-lining and receiving yet more high stimulation, the Eurozone has finally clawed back some of that growing gap by better growth than the UK over the past year. The affects of stimulation on the Eurozone and of the devaluation of the Pound are waning and a more natural level of performance and likely correction will occur. Its easy to manipulate economies through currency and fool people who aren’t clever or knowledgeable enough to understand what’s going on. Then again when people start talking about a long term collapsing of the UK economy and the Eurozone booming you got to think some propaganda is going on here.

      All this fear, lack of confidence, under-investment, if and when due to BREXIT fears is like saying ‘we don’t like BREXIT so we’ll ruin the economy then blame it on BREXIT’. A lot of economic issues for the UK are not BREXIT-related but where they are, I blame it on those who have a low opinion of BREXIT and or the UK economy. Such people and organisations are contributing to any economic difficulties – entirely down to confidence and fear (and that includes taking value out of the Pound through fear, and therefore any economic problem laid at the door of a weak pound).

  35. As David Cameron said at the time of the Referendum, it would be a defining one off Vote regardless of the outcome & size of majority either way. The Remainers attitude is “we don’t like the result so let’s vote again” (until they get a result going their way). Would the millions of Leave Voters have called for a re-run if the result was to stay in the EU? I think not. I’m old enough to remember life before the EEC/EU and I’m sure the country will survive…

    Sorry I digress, this is meant to be comments on the effects on the UK Motor industry & economy. Regardless of opinions, I hope it will still flourish

    • I would be wary of drawing upon David Cameron’s authority on this issue, given that he was unwilling to deal with the consequences of his actions and announced his resignation on the day after the referendum. I think history will judge him poorly.

      In any event, Parliament, the sovereign body that most people in this country want to decide the country’s direction, had legislated for a non-binding referendum. The referendum was to be a guide to government, although of course Parliament did subsequently vote to invoke article 50 in October 2016.

      However, this article points out that things are not going well and that Brexit is likely to be seriously damaging to the UK motor industry. The title simply asks if we can have a re-think.

      In a democracy, what is wrong with that? The population has changed its mind since the referendum to remain in the common market in 1975 so no decision has to be eternally binding.

      Given that both sides of the campaign relied upon emotion rather than facts, I don’t think anybody could reasonably say that, countrywide, it was a clearly discussed and evidence based decision on 23/06/16. There is this suggestion that as much as anything the decision was a reaction by people neglected by government to give the governing elite a kick up the bum. I would have a lot of sympathy with that idea and with those people.

      Now, however, we have the clear and loud opinion from just about every industry or organisation that can claim to have any knowledge, expertise or worry about the outcome, that Brexit is worse than staying in the EU. There are some experts and businesses that think otherwise, but they are a minority.

      And of course, as you might have seen recently, assessments seem to indicate that the people who voted most solidly for Brexit are going to be the worst affected. Here is a good article about that:>

      At risk of inflaming the emotions that obviously run hot here, I would suggest that having another look and a cooler, dispassionate consideration of the evidence is not unreasonable. Nobody wants a referendum every year, but this is such a significant matter that now the potentially very serious consequences are highlighted, the population ought to decide if this is what it wants. Young people will deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives, either way.

      I think we have so much more information now than we did before 23/06/16. There is a fairly well known quote that has several variations and that might or might not be attributed to John Maynard Keynes. I have chosen this version:

      “When my information changes, I change my mind. What do you do?”

      Surely, in a democracy, it would be rational to look at the evidence and if the current population thinks the decision was wrong, to change it?

      • Well I live in the North and would still vote the same if the Referendum was re-run. I have every confidence in the Country & its motor industry surviving despite the inevitable ups and downs. The problem is those doom mongers who like to blame everything on Brexit. Time will tell…

      • I don’t disagree with most of what you have to say expect the following:

        Quote: ‘However, this article points out that things are not going well and that Brexit is likely to be seriously damaging to the UK motor industry. The title simply asks if we can have a re-think.’

        I don’t agree with the premise of the article and have argued further up why this is so without anyone responding. At the very least I would expect a re-think to follow a decent assessment rather than one-sided selective claims (however well-meaning the contributors) based on a scenario which seems unlikely.

        Furthermore it seems that a lot more effort and constitutional gerrymandering is necessary to go from BREXIT to re-vote (and likely having to leave then rejoin anyway) than would be necessary if one were to try and deal with the issues that really concern Remainders. I’m aware there are attempts at staying in the single market whilst leaving, but they do not address the issues of Freedom of Movement, decision contribution, full sovereignty and high payment contributions. The problem seems to be the EU’s intransigence in these areas and the inability of large sections of the UK public/media to point the finger that way rather than at the government. In consequence a lot of hot air is expounded trying to make out the government is or should be full of hard Brexiteers and nothing aimed at the EU at all.

        I think energies would be better spent pressuring the EU to agree to a softer approach – though if Phase One of the talks are anything to go by their hard stance was always bluster anyway – but I appreciate that’s difficult when so many people are convinced – without any evidence or representative analysis – that leaving the EU is going to be good for the EU and bad for the UK.

        Without evidence. A smell circular arguments.

  36. If we define the UK Motor industry as remaining historic Companies and marques, I would argue there is only three, JLR, Morgan and JCB. They all sell far more outside the EU than in.

  37. I am tired of extreme Brexiteers and Remainers and their negative, aggressive behaviour, in the same way the toxic Left/ Right style of politics has returned after an absence of well over 20 years. Who really benefits from the constant point scoring, cat calling and tribalism that some of these fanatics see as a big deal in their lives? It’s just as pathetic as the tribal rivalry you get in football, but this is a lot more dangerous.

  38. I voted Remain mostly due to the nature of my job, than any great love of the EU or to prove my ” superiority” to Brexit voters, but I am getting totally sick of the sneering arrogance of many on the Remain side. My parents voted Brexit and they don’t buy The Sun or the Daily Mail, hate foreigners, are badly educated chavs, thickos, BNP supporters,honophobes, rednecks, or any of the other insults hardline Remainers throw at Brexit supporters. On the other hand, some on the Brexit side don’t cover themselves in glory by referring to people who voted Remain as traitors all the time and thinking Brexit will solve everything from the problems in the NHS to the England football team.

    • I know the rhetoric has been OTT but it doesn’t help that too many Brexiteers seem to have the inability to have a reasoned debate, just empty slogans & right wing claims that can be easily disproven but keep being dragged up again & again like a bad penny.

      Having spent the first 2 decades of my life being discriminated against for being “different” so naturally I’m not drawn to anyone anti-minority.

      • Do you think being far-right is the majority in this country? If you don’t then why would being anti-Remain be any less justified than being anti-far right. If being anti-Remain is being anti-minority then being anti-minority isn’t in and of itself a bad thing – unless you think being anti-far right is a bad thing.

        Otherwise I’m not interested in your excuses, your an extremist, unlike most other Remainders and Brexiteers. And I’m sure you’re to the right of me politically. You certainly act it.

          • The political spectrum is really a circle. You’re far to the right and far to the left of me. I’m in the centre and in the 95% of the population who are well away from the extremists.

    • Agreed

      It irritates me when many people automatically equate being anti EU as being the same as being anti European/foreigner, as they’re not the same thing.

      The EU is a political construct, with pros and cons, like any other institution (UN, NATO, devolved parliaments etc). Many of those who voted leave did so because of the lack of democratic accountability, even if the impact could be slightly negative to the economy. That’s a perfectly honourable position to take, even if you don’t agree with it.

  39. You British make me laugh.
    You trash your British owned industry by making cars no one wants to buy, seduce foreign investors into setting up in your God forsaken country with the ploy that they can sell to the EU, decide to quit the EU and then expect the foreign investors to stay!
    You are all obsessed with the past. Agincourt, Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Churchill, Beatles, Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles Geoff Hurst and the British Empire.
    Your leaders Harry Macmillan and Harry Wilson knew the game was up, thats why they wanted to join the EU in the first place.
    Britain a great trading nation?
    You vote to quit EU and then nearly vote the anti-business Jeremy Corbyn as your leader!
    That is not the symptoms of a great trading nation.

      • The media is mostly remainder. And largely elitist. It is not all one way at any rate. If I were you I’d ignore the media, especially news papers, they are politically biased. Only someone totally naive would think the papers are tory-only, and why would any rational person think BREXIT = Tory and Remain = Labour.

        Why don’t you take your extreemist political position elsewhere. But before you do, tell me why you support globalism, multinationalism and corporatism? Why are you in favour of draconian restrictions on movement of goods and people. Why do you support protectionism.

    • I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. We are a nation that constantly refers to our past achievements without realising our currently reduced circumstances mean that we have been doing something wrong for decades.

      We reading these posts can’t avoid recognising that fact when we spend so much time here on this site dedicated to companies that were great, but are now mostly gone and those parts that do still flourish are owned abroad. And of course much of that decline is well documented on this very site.

      In a way, we have a great metaphor for all this in the Phoenix Consortium. They who sought to raise MG Rover from the ashes of a once successful motor industry yet crashed back into the flames. Although five people had made sure they were secure. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort to review recent, and not so recent, history and recall other failed businesses where senior personnel were well rewarded for running a business that ended in bankruptcy. The EU was not responsible for those failures, so once we have taken back control, will we stop doing the things that we have been doing wrong for so long?

      We, as a nation, are good at a lot, particularly innovation and science, and we have shown that with the right backing and management we can make cars that people want to buy. But even then, we seem to be making things harder for ourselves.

  40. You Tommies voted for Brexit because the Sun and Daily Mail, those two major British exporters, told you to!

  41. Here in la belle France we see Brexit as an opportunity to entice major investors in Britain to relocate to our country in order to boost our ailing economy.
    Honda, Toyota and Nissan are all welcome here. If you don’t want to be a member of the club, you can’t expect to sell to the members with the benefits that membership entails.

  42. A counterpoint, while some British made cars were truly awful, would cars like the Fiat Strada, Fiat Regata, Renault 9, Citroen Visa, Volvo 440 or Audi A2 be classed as highly desirable cars to own, even when they were new? These were ugly, unreliable heaps that often rusted to pieces, cost a fortune to maintain and vanished quickly from the roads. However, since they weren’t made in Britain, they were somehow classed as superior and in the case of the Strada actally made an Allegro look good. And don’t get me started on the overpriced rubbish BMW churn out.

    • Were any of those models really well regarded in the UK?

      The Strada & by association Regata, along with the Renault 9 didn’t seem to get good writeups, especially a few years down the line.

      I know the Visa wasn’t liked by Citroen fans for not being gadgety enough, but it was good enough to form the basis of the C15 van for years.

      The Volvo 440 seemed to win some 300 series owners, but the weak clutch is well known for being a “technical write-off” repair.

  43. All of a sudden a rash of EU loving anti Brit foreign (if thats who they say they are) commentors join the blog, how very strange..

    That’s just how the EU operate and nothing worse than foreigners telling us how bad our country is, it’ll have the opposite effect than the desired one..

    • “All of a sudden a rash of EU loving anti Brit foreign (if thats who they say they are) commentors join the blog, how very strange..

      That’s just how the EU operate and nothing worse than foreigners telling us how bad our country is, it’ll have the opposite effect than the desired one..”

      Oh dear, I despair when I see ridiculous comments like this. It isn’t about loving the EU and anything as childish as that. It is a rational analysis of our place in the world and our need to access European markets without barriers.

      The EU is not perfect, it has many flaws. Free movement with economies at many levels of economic development was a poor idea and the organisation itself is undemocratic.

      However the alternative is to either be locked out of EU markets or embrace the single market while having no say over the rules of that market.

      I am sorry, but you need to check your emotions at the door and view this issue rationally.

      • “check your emotions at the door ” . It sounds as though that phrase comes from an American speaker

      • Both sides need to access each others’ markets and those of other countries/blocs. Both sides need to be open enough to all markets in movement of goods services and people in all directions, but not unbridled or unrestricted. Only one side appears to be aiming for this. The other side appears to want to close off to all outside Europe and impose extra openness on its members, even if it causes problems such as lowering wages and stifling productivity.

        Was this clear cut and unemotional enough for you?

    • I was a bit surprised at comments from a fish stew and a ballpoint pen (not sure about Overstrand), but then I’m a fictional character from a series of children’s stories anyway. They might be a bit of a wind-up, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being. The important question is whether or not they have a point worth discussing.

      So rather than being disdainful because they might be from another country or favour the EU, why don’t you explain why you think they are wrong?

      • Would it make any difference?

        Obviously Gert, Kurt, Xavier and Barlebe and one and the same, designed to wind up both sides and show both themselves and the Brits in a poor light.

        Ill try and answer even though much of it has little to do with BREXIT.


        People do want to buy our cars, and they were good enough in the decade they get bad mouthed about too, and that’s only a decade out of the past 120 years. We were outside the highly protected EEC for too long and it was the French rather than us who didn’t want us in. So many of our cars from the 1960’s onwards were from ownership that wasn’t what became BLMC, and by the mid-60’s they were all foreign-owned.

        Inviting in non-EU companies so they can beat the tariffs is no more wrong than setting up such high tariffs in the first place. The foreign investors are expected to stay because its in their own interests (even if a trade deal ISN’T done). Any drop in EU share is going to be equaled by a rise in UK share if we assume the same affect occurs on both sides (see my earlier [posts in response to this article).

        We are not the jingoistic ones. We are more cosmopolitan, more progressive, far far less inclined to buy UK-made goods/from UK companies simply because they are from our own country.

        We joined a trading partner, not a union. Europe was much more impartant in those days relative to thv rest of the world. Times change and now we can do a deal as an independent party with both the EU and other countries/blocs. I don’t conside Phase 2 as being any less middle-ground than Phase one was as regards the EU.

        Britain has always been a great trading nation and a champion of free trade. Our importance has declined since joining the EU but we are still looking to trade with the world, not just a small part of it.


        Not everyone reads the Mail or Guardian. Some of us think for ourselves. The Sun was remain, not BREXIT.


        Why would investors want to relocate to France if its economy was ailing?

        “Honda, Toyota and Nissan are all welcome here.” Not by PSA and Renault they’re not. And why would they leave a market suddenly shut off from European exports if you believe as the article does that the EU will be cut off from UK exports? Unless you’re using double standards…

        “If you don’t want to be a member of the club, you can’t expect to sell to the members with the benefits that membership entails.” This works both ways. And you can expect both sides to want to make money. Doh!

        The central point of the article is false and it seems no amount of hammering home the double standards appears to get through.

  44. Brexit is insane, it only happened to fix internal divisions in the Tory party and the Tories are to blame. Why should Labour have a position, if the Tories choose to jump off a cliff, why follow them?

    It should be reversed, but it won’t happen. So we will continue to commit national suicide. What makes this particularly unfair is the economic burden of the last recession fell on younger people and they are likely to pay the bill for brexit. When it was the older generation that voted for it.

    • The younger generation couldn’t be bothered to get of bed to vote in the EU referendum. But when they were promised zero tuition fees by a silver tongued shysters, they did everything possible to vote.

      • All politicians promise goodies to their supporters. Usually more than another ballpoint pen (?), but something.

  45. The Labour party has to support Brexit because great chunks of its core supporting areas voted leave. Areas that would support Satan over the Tories every time.

  46. Don’t worry Europe is in safe hands, ha ha!
    Back in May 2016, Lithuania central bank head, and ECB governing council member, Vitas Vasiliauskas said that contrary to widespread perceptions of central planners as clueless hack economists who would not survive one day in the private sector and who can only inflate asset bubbles, then watch them burst and replace them with even bigger asset bubbles, central bankers are really “magic people.”
    “Markets say the ECB is done, their box is empty,” Vasiliauskas told Bloomberg in the spring of 2016. “But we are magic people. Each time we take something and give to the markets — a rabbit out of the hat.”

    It now turns out they also appear to be corrupt, criminal people because on Saturday, Vasiliauskas’ next door peer, Latvian central bank Governor, Ilmars Rimsevics who is also a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was detained by Latvia’s anti-graft bureau, prompting calls for him to step aside to prevent harming the country’s financial sector (Lativa has been known for years as a good home for dirty money).
    The ECB declined to comment, according to Bloomberg. Another ECB governing board member, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, is also being accused of bribery, an accusation he vehemently denies, alleging political persecution aimed at forcing him to resign.

    • What is your point you are trying to make?

      If that person has committed a criminal act and the appropriate authorities are acting upon it, then is that not what you expect to happen?

      There are dishonest people everywhere and British banks and politicians have not always been exemplars. Recently, Barclays Bank has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office ( and you might remember further back that Jonathan Aitken, a former Cabinet Minister, was jailed for perjury. Not to mention the more recent problems with MPs and Lords fiddling their expenses, with Lord Hanningfield jailed for false accounting.

      As for dirty money, in a Daily Mail article London has been described as the money laundering capital of the world. (

      Is it fair to sully the reputation of EU organisations by picking up on a specific issue, without looking at our own back yard?

      The UK is, generally, not usually regarded as a very corrupt country. In the Transparency International index up to 2016, the UK was rated 10th. Latvia was 44th. But the UK is behind some other EU states – 1st Denmark, 3rd Finland, 4th Sweden, 8th Netherlands and Luxembourg and Germany sharing 10th place with us.

      It would be helpful if you gave some reason and explanation to say how the UK will prosper post Brexit, rather than just denigrate the EU.

    • The UK’s financial centre, The City, and it’s bankers, lawyrers and accountants are awash with dirty money. Take that away and we’re really in even bigger trouble, after all isn’t it the City that’s going to save us from making things, fixing things and growing things. Worrying, what? Read Private Eye!

  47. So you Tommies doubt my authenticity!
    My love of British cars started in the early 1970’s when I came to England to work as a stunt driver in the classic Lou Grade ITC series ‘The Defecators’ about two troubleshooting international colonic irrigators. I taught the stars, Leighton Bromswold and Armand Aubergine how to drive the Talbot Rothwell.

  48. Last post on this subject (!) and it’s not from me really.
    Below is what the recent report from the Policy Exchange (entitled “Global Champion – the case for unilateral free trade”) says about the implications of their recommendations for car manufacturing in the UK. These are the “thinkers” behind people like Boris Johnson (who gave his recent speech in their offices).
    On the spectrum of options for Brexit – they are at the “hard” end. They argue for the unilateral abolition of import tariffs by the UK and appear to believe this would apply to all imports including those from the EU (so no worries for those “German car makers”)
    I know a lot of people with in-depth knowledge of the UK automotive sector visit this site, so I thought it would be useful to post this, to see how realistic you find this vision, and how accurate you find the analysis (I found the comparison with Toyota in the USA very dodgy – as most Toyotas sold in the USA are manufactured there, so import tariffs are not an issue).
    The text below represents the pinnacle of academic thought regarding the UK automotive industry from the “hard Brexit” wing. If one supports Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daniel Hannan (and his “Initiative for Free Trade”) or Boris Johnson (it seems) this is what you are supporting:

    BOX: How would unilateral tariff reduction affect the car industry?

    The UK is a major producer and exporter of cars – 1.72 million were made in 2016 and almost 80% of these were exported. Last year these were worth £40 billion and 56% (around £22 billion) of these were exported to elsewhere in the EU. At present the UK, as a member of the EU customs union, imposes 10% tariffs on cars imported from outside the EU. Not surprisingly around 70% of car imports to the UK are from the EU. Removal of tariffs will mean that all cars – no matter their country of origin or indeed the country composition of components could be imported free of tariffs into the UK.

    Production of cars in the UK involves complex integrated supply chains with components often crossing borders several times before being used in final assembly. Tariffs on components from outside the EU average 4.5% so their removal would add to the level playing field in the market for cars in the UK. On average 60% of a UK-made car actually consists of foreign sourced components, around 80% of which come from the EU. The remaining 20% of components would have import tariffs removed under unilateral free trade reducing in some cases the costs of domestic production. However, those components that move between the UK and EU potentially may be subject to tariffs imposed by the EU.

    The abolition of tariffs on all car imports would create a level playing field for selling into the UK car market, bringing major benefits to UK consumers. In the US car imports are currently subject to a 2.5% tariff. It is noteworthy that the Japanese car maker Toyota has a 12% to 13% market share in the US but a mere 4% to 4.5% share in the EU where tariffs are four times larger.

    The British economy does not have to produce its own food, cars or textiles to be a success – and especially so, if these industries are not sustainable without tariff protection. Australia, for example, recently ended domestic car production.

    • An update – I contacted the “think-tank” Policy Exchange about the following reference to Toyota in their report:
      “In the US car imports are currently subject to a 2.5% tariff. It is noteworthy that the Japanese car maker Toyota has a 12% to 13% market share in the US but a mere 4% to 4.5% share in the EU where tariffs are four times larger.”

      They admitted that the person who wrote that section believed all Toyota cars sold in the USA are built in Japan, and all Toyota cars sold in the EU are built in Japan also.
      Which would be forgivable except that this report “Global Champion – the case for unilateral free trade” is being taken as gospel by key decision-makers who are shaping the future of the UK car industry post-Brexit. You wonder what else they have got wrong ….

      • I think you have done some good work there.

        Did they say if they are going to correct their published report? I hope they apologise for misleading people.

        After seeing your post I looked at their website. Here is an extract from the About Us page (

        “The authority and credibility of our research is our greatest asset. Our research is independent and evidence-based and we share our ideas with policy makers from all sides of the political spectrum. Our research is strictly empirical and we do not take commissions. This allows us to be completely independent and make workable policy recommendations.”

        It is alarming that a body that values itself in this way can make such a mistake.

        • Thanks Biggles – I’m glad someone understood what I was banging on about : ) They actually discussed correcting that example by using Lexus instead of Toyota – but I warned them off that, as Lexus is a premium brand – therefore less sensitive to price – therefore tariffs are less of an issue. – (and also some Lexus models are manufactured within the USA it seems).

      • Are Jacob Rees-Mogg and Daniel Hannan policy-makers? Is Boris a hard-Brexiteer? If contributors getting facts wrong is a sign one side is wrong, then clearly both sides are (and that is a logical impossibility).

        Contributors to this article and its replies have also got things wrong. perhaps they should look closer to home first before slinging rocks.

        You may well be right that a no deal/no FTA situation is not some sort of Shangri La but that doesn’t make any Remain situation the best option.

  49. Sully the reputation of EU organisations – what planet are you on? No wonder you are a fictional character! Last year for the FIRST time the EU auditors signed of the EU budget. Prior to that they had refused!! I have spent some time in Spain and there are large amounts of EU money there which have been siphoned off by corrupt officials and it is common knowledge.
    Barclays bank is not quite the same as the EU bank. The Mail article mixes many issues to sensationalize them. It would take me a while to tease out the truth from that. Suffice to say to take that as factual is quite naive.

    You couldn’t make it up – Luis de Guindos will become vice-president of the European Central Bank, handing Madrid one of the Eurozone’s most senior policymaking jobs.

    Mr de Guindos, Spain’s economy minister and a former Lehman Brothers banker, was the only candidate in the race after Ireland said on Monday it would withdraw Philip Lane, its central bank governor, from the contest.

    The decision, taken during a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels, means the Spanish minister, who has no previous monetary policy experience, will replace Vitor Constâncio when the Portuguese’s eight-year term ends in May.

    A Lehman Brothers banker with no monetary policy experience was chosen as the ECB’s new vice-president because nobody else wanted the job.

    At the helm we still have Mario Draghi, who worked for the Goldman Sachs division which helped Greece get into the Eurozone by fudging its accounts.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    The EU is not just a free-trade area, but a customs union. It doesn’t just eliminate trade barriers, it creates a common tariff for all its members that impedes free trade with the rest of the world. And that barrier is set at a high level. If we can escape it, trade with the rest of the world would flourish.

    Bear in mind that Britain is one of the two members of the EU which trades most with the rest of the world rather than inside the EU. And, were we to leave, we’d become its biggest exports market. As a percentage share, British trade with the EU has fallen by almost 20% since 1999. British trade with the US, on the other hand, has grown. We have no official trade deal with the US.

    A Britain free to focus elsewhere with its own initiatives is likely to do better on trade than a Britain in the EU -we can sell to whom we wish without having to get agreement from ALL 27 EU countries to do that.

    • I would like to live on a planet where two anonymous people, such as you and I, can have a neighbourly discussion. In that vein I would like to refer you to a posting above on 14th February.

      An extract:
      “It seems you are unable to debate without being rude and making snide and demeaning comments as i see your other postings. This isn’t really the forum for this…”

      I cannot be sure and I sincerely apologise if I attribute them unfairly, but unless there is another jon on aronline, I think those are your own words. Please correct me if I am wrong.

      You and I don’t agree about leaving the EU, but in the posts I have made I think I have always met the standard you set. I am grounded on this planet and I try very hard to be polite to you and everybody else, so I am surprised that you did not adhere to your own maxim.

      Anyway, that aside, I agree with you that the failure to sign off EU accounts for so many years is not good enough. And if Spanish people are defrauding the EU, then that is deplorable as well. These are reasons for reform of the EU, but are they
      good reasons for the UK to leave? Will the UK as a whole, and the UK motor industry specifically, be better off outside the EU? As nearly 58% of our car exports go to the EU, then the introduction of tariffs by the EU will surely harm us.

      As for Mr Luis de Guindos, you have associated him with Lehman Brothers and the calamity that followed their collapse. But he was there from 2006 until the collapse in 2008 as a director of the subsidiary in Spain and Portugal. Lehman Bros collapsed because of the sub-prime mortgage problems in the USA which, I suggest, were not a part of his responsibility in Spain and were probably a part of Lehman’s dodgy business practices long before he joined only 2 years before that collapse.

      Whether he has the competencies for the role I don’t know, I have no necessary expertise. But if you have, then please explain. At two points though you have made specific reference to him being a Lehman Brothers banker and thereby associating him with their disreputable collapse. Is there any evidence of his culpability? Unless you can show that he is even partly responsible, isn’t that more of an unfair smear rather than a reasoned argument against his suitability?

      With Mr Draghi, then his association with Lehman Bros does look a bit more compromising because of his greater involvement. Your dissatisfaction with him might be justified. I don’t know. But again, that probably argues more in favour of better staff selection and governance in the EU institutions than for the UK leaving.

      They both might be undesirable officials of the EU as you seem to think and the EU probably isn’t as well run as it could be (I agree with you about Greece joining the Euro). Which might be sufficient reason in your eyes for us not to want to be associated with the EU. But I don’t think that shows we are better off out than in.

      Your last three paragraphs arguing for the UK being better off out of the EU might be valid. I don’t know. I’ll make two points though.

      1. As I mentioned in an earlier post somewhere above, almost every body, with any expertise, on this subject suggest that their assessment of Brexit is adverse for the UK. Even our own government assessments suggest the same.
      2. Your arguments have a couple of conditional statements: “If we can escape it” and “is likely”. I am not saying your expectations (if that is what they are) are wrong, but the assessment here is whether we will be able to get advantageous trading terms post Brexit. I fear that we won’t even if only because we do not have the cohort of experienced trade negotiators we would need to get good deals.

  50. hello Biggles you did say you were a fictional character, so i thought you would take that comment in the spirit it was intended. I do find your deference to the EU, the clowns that run it and bankers hard to take seriously which is why i made that comment. It appears you are serious hence I’m sorry if it caused offence.

    Many of the issues here go far beyond the car industry and I don’t really think this is the forum to discuss them, although I am quite happy to! This is really off topic.

    Securitising mortgages on overvalued properties and selling them as bonds caused the 2008 crisis so yes I blame bankers for that. Repeal of Glass Steagal act by the Clinton administration at the banks behest benefited hugely the banks but the results of this ruined and impoverished so many people and are still with us today.

    I cant understand why so many people are so desperate to stay so close to Europe. Europe is a basket case. Briefly, the Euro has been an unmitigated disaster. Half of Europe is hopelessly indebted. collectively Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece owe Germany almost EUR 1 TRILLION.

    Reflecting upon the old adage “if I owe you a $1000, it’s my problem.
    If I owe you a $1 Trillion, then you have a problem.” These are bankrupt countries in which no sane person would buy government issued debt (bonds). So the ECB buys the bonds and pumps more money into the system. The ECB has almost tripled its securities holdings in the last 10 years from under 1 trillion Euro to 2.8 trillion!!! ( 1 trillion in 500 euro notes = a pile 130 miles high!) Italy is now teetering on the edge of default.

    William White, the former chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements (the so-called central banks’ central bank), said the following last month:
    “All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis, but the lesson has somehow been forgotten.
    Central banks have been pouring more fuel on the fire. Should regulators really be congratulating themselves that the system is now safer? Nobody knows what is going to happen when they unwind QE [quantitative easing]. The markets had better be very careful because there are a lot of fracture points out there.”

    “Pharmaceutical companies are subject to laws forcing them to test for unintended consequences before they launch a drug, but central banks launched the huge social experiment of QE with carelessly little thought about the side-effects.”

    Perhaps Biggles of the 266 squadron could do a better job (with Algy & Ginger). He couldn’t do a worse one.

  51. jon, Thanks for the explanation, and my apologies if I have misunderstood.

    I suppose this illustrates a lesson learned hundreds of times on the internet, social media, etc., that without the non-verbal cues we all use in real life, text can be easily misinterpreted. But it is good that we can move on.

    So, I think QE has been of dubious value too because most of the benefit has not gone to the wider economy, but rather to the banks and other financial institutions whose collective behaviour and character post 2008 has probably not changed enough. And, from what I read, another crash could be around the corner.

    But this blog has long since peaked so I’ll just come back to my two main themes. If we are in the EU we are part of a stronger team and in the wealthiest single market in the world. The biggest success of the EU has been in uniting countries in a mutual interest and preventing war. Biggles made the switch from the Camel to the Spitfire, but he’s too old to come back in a Typhoon.

  52. Can we not draw a line under this whole unhappy discussion and close it. The posts are becoming ever more nonsensical , particularly the statement that ” the biggest success of the EU has been in uniting countries in a mutual interest …”

    • I should have added : Tell that to the millions of unemployed Portuguese, Spanish , Italians and Greeks

      • I am confused by your comment since reading what I post, and making a derisive response, is entirely voluntary on your part.

        But I think your comment is also inaccurate. My complete sentence was: “The biggest success of the EU has been in uniting countries in a mutual interest and preventing war.”

        That post does not refer to the EU as an unalloyed success and as with every economy, the member countries suffer from recessions and unemployment at times. But nevertheless they are still a group with a mutual interest. Countries joined the EU voluntarily believing it would be in their interest to do so.

        Greece joined for that reason, although I think they erred when they joined the Euro – a mistake that damaged them when the crash came. If you were referring to the way countries with debts were treated by the ECB and the way that caused unemployment, I would have some sympathy with them because I think they were treated poorly. But my comment did not address that issue.

        But even as a standalone sentence I don’t think what I said can be described as nonsensical and I hope you would agree that in helping to prevent another war between member nations, the EU can be counted as a success. I think that countries like Greece, Italy and Spain with their experience of the last century would agree.

        Obviously you disagree with my point of view. If you think I have not been clear, then please ask and I will try to be more explicit. If I have made a factual error or am inconsistent, please point it out. But please, critique and quote what I actually say rather than a matter that I have not addressed.

        • I presume Greece were tempted by the Drachma losing value over time & that a lot of tourists would be tempted by being able to spend the same money as in their pockets there.

          Portugal also suffered under a dictatorship, especially when fighting wars in Africa until the carnation revolution.

    • I’m bored with the whole thing and sick of the endless insults and point scoring. I don’t watch the national news much now due to endless Brexit reports and even radio shows like Jeremy Vine I avoid now.

      • I think I understand that. There are many contributors on both sides, across the whole range of media where this is discussed – not just here, who are sincere and heartfelt, but whilst they are emphatic about what they want they often don’t clearly explain their reasons. We all get frustrated and as we know, on social media it is too easy for ordinarily polite and reasonable people to anonymously express disdain for another’s opinion.

        However, an optimal democracy requires voters to be engaged and well informed. There was a lot of engagement in the referendum but as we see now, there wasn’t very much in the way of good information from either side. But if we want to participate in democratic votes we also have to accept some responsibility for the outcomes – particularly when the government has decided to act in accordance with the result. I suggest that means looking at the new information that becomes available, discussing it and considering if what we are going to do will lead to a better or worse situation.

        If we don’t challenge false assertions and poor reasoning we are letting those who shout loudest and make the most dramatic statements have the most influence. So where we can understand what people are saying and we disagree, I think we should politely challenge them because surely, discussion is good for democracy. Please don’t give up.

  53. Came to read a site about Austin rover not some remoaner rubbish.I
    Sooner we’re out the better. There was a vote you lost. That how it works, you don’t get top keep trying again because your mommy have you a prize for turning up everyday when you were at school….

    • No that isn’t how it works, otherwise we would only have one general election. Politics does not stop with one vote. People have the right to change their mind and the utter shambles that this government is making of brexit is a good reason to do so.

      If the best you can come up with is childish insults like “remoaner”, then I despair. This is about the future of a our country for generations to come. Could we raise the level of the debate above primary school playground insults please?

  54. Errr.. Can’t we just like old cars and leave this sort of thing to one side? Contact your MP about your views on Brexit – it’s what they’re there for. ARonline is wonderful, but I’m not sure even we can resolve Brexit here…

  55. I think a comparison between UK manufacturing and financial services with regard to Brexit is a better comparison, rather just comparing with the car industry.
    For those who regret, as I do, the loss of so many UK manufacturing business or their sale to foreign owners should blame the UK mainly. It has been largely our fault and little to do with the EU. We are the 8th largest manufacturing country in the world yet 40% of our manufacturing businesses are foreign owned. For that I blame our culture (continually running ourselves down) , worship of financial services especially pointless private equity parasites. I predict GKN will be broken up and flogged to foreign owners either by Melrose or the new current management within a few years.
    We have great manufacturing companies that need our support rather than faux patriotism exemplified by much of the Brexit debate. If Germany can do it so can we….and better.

  56. Being in Europe has been one BIG disaster :

    a) Firstly, it has killed all our home grown industries, UK branded made products, UK based manufacturing, with many UK companies being eyed up by foreign owners and taken over with UK production facilities and factories closed and production of these goods shifted abroad putting UK citizens out of work and on the dole with frozen pensions they cannot take until 60+,

    b) Secondly, UK safety standards for British brand products have been replaced by weaker dangerous feeble European legislation and directives which have made things progressively worse i.e. powerful consumer fireworks which are stupidly given 8 metres spectator distance and are absolutely dangerous indeed viewed at that distance away whereas our BS7114 part 2 1988 if kept would keep these items sensibly at 25 metres where they SHOULD be viewed from,

    c) Thirdly, open borders and lax controls have allowed ANYONE to come in from Europe and beyond, REGARDLESS of what criminal convictions and / or criminal records etc that they have and / or what sort of behaviour or character they have (in Australia, you try coming in with bad behaviour on your side or undeclared criminal records or serious offences etc under your belt and see where it gets you – you are automatically sent back and turned around NO EXCEPTIONS, and we should be able to do that here too without being shouted down by European courts and laws etc and prevented from refusal of granted entry to those people),

    d) Fourthly, because of freedom of movement, we cannot easily pick and choose who we want to come into our country based on : –

    (1) Job skills based on needs and job positions to fill, (2) Financial situation (whether that individual can or can’t support themselves – we’re a soft touch and sadly EU and non EU citizens get the cream of everything they should NOT be entitled to such as healthcare etc), (3) Whether a job offer is on the table for those entrants or not (it has been all far too easy for EU and non-EU migrants to come into the UK, busk on the streets or sell Big Issue and earn benefits which SHOULD NOT be allowed to happen at all, it should be either GET A JOB within a limited timeframe OR you WILL be sent back regardless), and finally (e) British companies being made to take on British workers on realistic not ‘mickey mouse’ T’s & C’s and realistic rates of pay not migrant worker pocket money wages (EU and non-EU migrants have pulled down wages and caused top UK firms to exploit British people and as a result the Brits leave causing the old cry of ‘Brits are lazy and won’t do what we ask them to, and that is why we take on cheap EU and non EU migrants whom are happy to work all the hours God sends, on our terms and conditions at low unrealistic rates of pay and won’t question our exploitation’).

    Sooner we leave THE BETTER…

  57. Anthony, thanks for sharing your undoubtedly heartfelt views on the EU. I’ve been struggling to understand why anyone would vote to leave and this helped me understand slightly more. That said I am simply not in agreement on much of what you are saying, taking your points one by one:-

    a) Firstly, it has killed all our home grown industries…
    I don’t agree that is the fault of Europe, if anything the situation would have been worse if we were not in the EU. I think that this problem was home grown (see posts above) but the surviving and mostly well run industries have benefited from a bigger ‘home’ market. Leaving the EU removes this which puts the home grown industries in further jeopardy.

    b) Secondly, UK safety standards for British brand products have been replaced by weaker dangerous feeble European legislation …..
    Interesting that you are complaining about lax EU regulations – many of those who are wanting to leave seem to be making the other argument that the EU regulations are too onerous.
    I don’t know the example on the fireworks which you cite, however having a brief search the law in 1972, before we entered the EU, seems to be very much weaker than that we have post EU membership.
    In my view if there is a problem we should be putting it right, for the benefit of the whole of Europe, not just our small part.

    c) Thirdly, open borders and lax controls have allowed ANYONE to come in from Europe and beyond…..
    True, anyone can come to the UK who is a citizen of the EU regardless of criminal convictions, as the British can also go to any member state on the same basis. This is how many British criminals ended up living in Spain.
    The ‘beyond’ is more complicated, should we not be giving political asylum to those who have been convicted of trumped-up crimes in their own country and are in fear of their life. Non EU citizens do not have the automatic right to live in the UK, we control this aspect ourselves and have only ourselves to blame if we get it wrong.

    d) Fourthly, because of freedom of movement, we cannot easily pick and choose who we want to come into our country based on …..
    In the same way that we have the right to work in EU countries, so do those from the EU have a right to work in the UK. It’s a trade-off, one which I’m very much in favour of as this allows us to experience different ways of life and working, to learn a new language and, in the most part, earn a lot of money. Many of the people who come from the EU to work in the UK do so for low wage roles which the British might not want to do (which is why there is a labour shortage in the farms at the moment). I’m sure that the UK is net winners from this, accepting that I don’t have any proof to back this up.
    One of the organisations I know well main market is the EU. While they don’t currently have a factory outside the UK they are actively looking to relocate some of a production as they are struggling to recruit, many of their EU work-force are looking to go home and they are very worried about both the supply of components coming from the EU and tariffs for what would in the future be exports. This can’t be good for the UK as they will be looking at a redundancy situation in the near future for their UK staff, which is down to Brexit.
    In my mind the sooner we change our minds and stay in the EU the better, that not saying the EU doesn’t have its faults but the alternative, both economically and socially, is worse.

    Many thanks for your interesting post.

  58. The fact is 416GSI, we ARE leaving, it is what 52% of the UK voted for, wanted and expected so it is FAIR, however painful unnecessary and horrible it is to the UK, that we get on with leaving and move on regardless. I was one of those who voted unanimously wholeheartedly for the UK to leave the EU and myself along with the 52% who voted to LEAVE don’t regret it at all.

    – We had a very good manufacturing base at one time with reasonable quality products at one time that you could be proud of and happy to own, today however you can’t say that these days with domestic appliances, cars and other consumer goods whose brands are now foreign owned with cheap nasty components like sealed washing machine drums you can’t easily service when it breaks down, poor electrical safety standards that are worse than British Standards, poorer assembly processes, standardised European product safety directives (that are weaker than British Standards – why should should the UK even have to consult 27+ countries of an overblown unnecessary powerful continent to agree on bastardised safety requirements for safer products for the UK?),

    – A new European Standard has replaced BS 7114 : part 2 : 1988 on fireworks last year, namely BS-EN 15947:2010 has lead to a far more dangerous situation, and a frightening scenario where debris and fallout from powerful fireworks is measured on height not safety distances beyond the firework casing which means anyone stood at 8 metres from a powerful Category 2 8 metres multishot display in a box is basically TOO CLOSE for safety with the risk they could incur facial burns, burns to the hair and scalp from aerial fireworks like multishot cakes / barrages and roman candles and rockets or eye injuries whereas if these items were 25 metres rated and BS 7114 was kept, there’s be NO danger whatsoever to spectators watching those powerful fireworks at all, and things DIDN’T become unsafe in 1972 actually, we manufactured our own fireworks and every corner of the UK had a factory with top quality brands of fireworks you CAN trust with good safety levels, excellent performance, and great value for money that made Bonfire Night an enjoyable British tradition unlike the unsafe imports we have now which sometimes go badly wrong when lit (EUropean legislation and the might of the UK Govt outlawed our own fireworks manufacturing base and traditional hand made touchpaper fireworks and replaced it all with cheap inferior imports taking over that possess erratic movement flight and unpredictable behaviour when let off : our British products displayed none of these traits),

    – My point regarding better stricter borders and immigration control STILL stands, it’s a laughing stock and a joke! The UK SHOULD be vetting and checking the credentials criminal past criminal records and any other necessary wrongdoing and misdemeanours of ALL whom want to come here and ANYTHING that flashes up resulting in INSTANT REFUSAL OF ENTRY with no automatic rights to appeal that at all and immediate turnaround and sending back of those individuals and families who have been refused entry to the UK (watch Nothing To Declare Australia on Pick/Pick+1 and see how they handle it, it runs rings around the UK and Europe’s systems and beats them into the ground, and for the record, Australia turn away, turn around and refuse more people than they admit – it’s no walk in the park over there at all as it is in soft touch UK, and so it SHOULD NOT BE),

    – Freedom of movement rights and legislation have made a mockery of the United Kingdom, for one it should not be easy as it currently is, to get a plane from Europe or wherever and come here unchallenged with : (a) no job offer to come to, (b) no money situation or sufficient funds to sustain yourself here, (c) no home or accommodation offer, secondly all migrants EU and non EU SHOULD possess a good fluent competent level of ENGLISH which should by law be a compulsory requirement to live here (and many refuse to, or choose not to : many British citizens feel like strangers in the UK with foreign languages fast becoming the norm over English, horrible grotty foreign Eastern European shops plaguing the high street and many towns, signs and notices in factories in European languages, the right to speak foreign languages in the UK workplace even if it’s a danger to H&S),

    – And although it might be discriminatory xenophobic and racist, I support the taking on of British workers over non-English speaking unskilled EU migrants at REALISTIC WAGES and good terms and conditions that don’t exploit them, because they don’t need translators as the non-English speakers do / the British don’t signs and notices in European and international languages round the workplace like EU and non EU migrants do / the Brits don’t need multilingual H&S talks / and they don’t need their hands holding and backsides wiping at every stage because they don’t understand a word of what you’re saying to / and British workers don’t need telephone translation equipment because they can’t speak any English at all.

    Get over it, we are leaving whether you like it or not, the country may suffer after the 52% vote to leave in the EU referendum, it was only a very brief blip tho’, and once we’ve totally left the UK might wobble briefly, but in the end it’s no bad thing at all and we will bounce back mark my words….keep the faith old chap.

    • I don’t think anybody has disputed that we are leaving, only whether that is wise and whether we ought to change our minds. Given that the campaign was so poor on both sides, that the majority (by your own description of 52%, so obviously not unanimously, as you say) in favour of leaving was not very large and that the overwhelming opinion of business and expert bodies is that the economic consequences will be serious, that doesn’t seem unreasonable.
      In your post of 10 March you said that being in Europe has killed our home industries. Can you explain how this is so? The UK used to be major manufacturing nation, but by the time of us joining the Common Market in 1973 many of our major headline industries were in serious decline. This site well documents the problems of the indigenous car industry, but in addition the motor cycle industry was almost defunct, shipbuilding was declining quickly and both civil and military aircraft manufacturing only had future prospects by collaborating with Europe. You say that at one time people were happy to own British products, but that wasn’t so much the case by 1973 and within a few years it very definitely wasn’t the case with British cars. In short, UK industry was in trouble and we joined the Common Market because we were no longer prospering on our own.
      It is not as though the EU can be blamed as the sole cause of our decline – after all, look at how well Germany has done. And they succeeded even with the huge problems of reunification.
      You cite a couple of issues with safety standards, a subject I have no knowledge of at all so I cannot argue. But what is your point? That those standards are not high enough, or are you suggesting that they are sufficient reasons for us to risk serious damage to our economy? If so, they don’t look like good enough reasons.
      As for the rest of your post I think you might have something on a couple of points, but a lot I disagree with. I haven’t time or inclination to go through all of them, but I’ll comment on a few other things you said here and on 10 March.
      On 10 March you said that lax controls have allowed anyone to come into the UK from Europe regardless of criminal convictions. If you are blaming the EU for that, you are factually incorrect. (see: If you are blaming UK border procedures for not applying those rules, you might have a point. But leaving the EU might not change that, unless we are willing to employ many more border staff.
      On 10 March you said the UK is a soft touch for migrants who can’t support themselves, but who earn benefits and should be sent back if they don’t get a job within a reasonable time. I believe it is correct to say that any EU migrant workers can be deported from the host country after 3 months if they do not have the means to support themselves.
      (See: My understanding is that the UK does not apply this rule because it would probably be too expensive to apply it. I don’t think you can blame the EU for that when we actually have the right to control our borders in this way, but don’t bother.
      On 10 March you said it is too easy for all migrants to earn benefits. Well, if people have earned benefits I don’t see why you object, but most migrants would have to pass the Habitual Residents Test before receiving anything. (See: There is no automatic entitlement to benefits and the test is not easy.
      As for skills, well, skilled and unskilled people come from the EU and many come to an offered job. Last year there weren’t enough agricultural workers and crops rotted in the fields. British workers didn’t take those often low wage jobs. I would like the wages to be higher and then perhaps Brits would take them, but that means price rises and in a country where inflation is higher than wage growth, I don’t know what is right there. But when talking about skilled workers I think we should look to the NHS as an example of the problems that leaving the EU will cause. The NHS currently has around 100,000 vacancies but the numbers of EU staff joining is falling, whilst the number leaving is rising. (See: It does seem odd that when we really need skilled medical staff from the EU, we have set about making them feel unwelcome.
      You mention “grotty” foreign shops. If people from overseas are paying rents, rates, wages and taxes and using premises that might otherwise be empty, why on earth is that bad? And if someone doesn’t speak English but is working and contributing to the economy, why do you unacceptably want to discriminate against them? If someone intends to stay in the UK long-term I agree that they ought to learn to speak English, but if they don’t that doesn’t merit discrimination. Just as I hope Spain would not discriminate against British pensioners who settle there but don’t learn Spanish.
      At the beginning of your post today you said: “The fact is 416GSI, we ARE leaving, it is what 52% of the UK voted for, wanted and expected so it is FAIR, however painful unnecessary and horrible it is to the UK, that we get on with leaving and move on regardless”.
      Well, yes we are leaving, and you seem to have accepted that it will be painful and that it is unnecessary. I agree with you about that, but I cannot see any sufficient reason in your posts to justify it. Similarly, although at the end you think we will bounce back, you haven’t given any explanation of how you think this will happen. Please explain if you know how we will better prosper outside the EU.
      So in the absence of you or anybody else offering any positive post Brexit route to success for the UK, can you not see why some of us think leaving the EU is a mistake that ought to be rectified?

  59. I’m at an age where leaving the EU may not make much difference to me personally, but I hope it is a success for Britain and continued success for our car manufacturing industry… and all other industries

  60. Hi Anthony, Thanks for another interesting post.

    I’m still not in agreement with much of what you said, however I do recognise that you’re one of the 37% who voted leave, while I’m one of the 35% who voted to remain. It’s the 28% who decided not to vote at all that I really don’t understand, given that our forefathers fought and often died for that right.

    I don’t regret voting to remain, and should point out that it is the right of anyone in a democracy to oppose what they believe to be a bad decision. We haven’t left yet, the negotiations have barely started and so until we do leave I’m going to continue to oppose this, especially as only a minority of the electorate voted to leave.

    I think I understand your two major objections.

    1) Immigration.
    For me I don’t see that as a problem at all, in fact I see that as a positive aspect of the EU as it encourages cross-fertilisation of ideas and wider experiences and greater culture both in the UK and on the continent. Actually my problem with the EU is that it is too much of a rich man’s club, I think that it should be opened up to other nations not just the rich European countries. The majority of immigrants to the UK are from outside the EU. Leaving the EU won’t change anything for the majority of immigrants.

    2) Standards
    I accept your point on the fireworks, but looking at the standards very briefly I see that there are advantages and disadvantages with both sets of standards. Fundamentally standards across the board have got tighter since 1973 when we joined the EU. Again there are pros and cons of this, however the key advantage of common standards is that this leads to economies of scale. It’s means items like fireworks are less-expensive because you don’t have to design different products or make similar products to different standards for different markets.
    If there is a problem with the standard we should be working to improve it to the benefit of everybody.

    Fundamentally my issue is that if the UK leaves the EU national income is likely to decline. I think we will see an increase in unemployment and prices, a decrease in wages, pensions, benefits and social services. In short we will be significantly worse off and that’s not just in the short term.

    The other major problem I have leaving EU as it’s been a big distraction. We can spend the next 20 years sorting out the mess that it will cause. We’ve already spent the last two fiddling around with ‘negotiating the exit’ while we could better spent our time on things like health and education and the like. I don’t think this is the fault of one political party or another, the task is simply really difficult to achieve especially in the timeframes set.

    Thanks again for your interesting post

    • Well if this Govt betrays the 52% LEAVE majority and makes things soft to appease migrants already here and coming over, it will only be a matter of time before there is an angry Joe Public to deal with, and EU and non-EU migrants will face the wrath of that angry public song, which not even the Govt will be able to stop nor control.

      The public will NOT tolerate being betrayed by a toothless pro-EU Government MARK MY WORDS…

      There is only so much the LEAVE majority will take from our Government before the rope snaps and the proverbial $hyte hits the fan with resentment, anger, mutiny and national shame which will totally tarnish the UK.

      Make of it what you will BUT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, and you both can’t turn round and say “I told you so”, because that WILL be pointless and insigificant, there is a kettle that is boiling away on the stove that is ready to blow at any moment, and that is the anger of Joe Public that is steadily building and it has boiling away for years while we have been part of Europe, and dogooders like you Biggles and 416GSi are helping fuel that build up and explosion by trying to justify being in Europe.

      The people have voted. Now let that happen regardless of any attempt to stop it block it or derail it or face the consequences of a betrayal by Govt stealth and Pro-EU do gooders……

  61. Before you claim to know the view of the majority of the population, you might like to read an article on the BBC website from 12th March.


    You will see that from June last year polls show there has been a slight majority saying that Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU.

    You will also see that if people were asked again if they wanted to leave the EU, the polls show that a majority would now vote to remain.

    Although they are by no means definitive.

    But if there really is a will to reverse the decision to leave the EU, I think the government would have to be given a mandate either through another referendum or in a general election. A democratic process.

  62. Before you claim to know the view of the majority of the population, you might like to read an article on the BBC website from 12th March.


    You will see that from June last year polls show there has been a slight majority saying that Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU.

    You will also see that if people were asked again if they wanted to leave the EU, the polls show that a majority would now vote to remain.

    Although they are by no means definitive.

    But if there really is a will to reverse the decision to leave the EU, I think the government would have to be given a mandate either through another referendum or in a general election. Through a democratic process.

    • The anger will not go away, dress it up how you wish Biggles, but when that LEAVE majority is so cheesed off and upset because of pro EU do goooders like YOU and the the poxy REMAIN camp getting their way, it’ll backfire in a RATHER spectacular fashion, problem is, you do gooders want it reversed AND that is NOT gonna be tolerated at all.

      There is a gonna be a lot of upset angry and frustrated people who gonna show their distaste anger and wanton fury and temper tantrums towards EU and non EU migrants on a much bigger scale than the abuse verbal and physical etc they unduly suffered on the spur of the result of the EU referendum to LEAVE which shocked and upset a lot of migrants resulting in many reconsidering their futures and shutting up their businesses and / or going back to the EU because of Brits making them feel disliked hated and totally unwelcome, watch this programme from last year and then see the general feelings and discord towards them that this country possesses, it WILL shock you

      • I think you are Trolling me, but I’ll play along anyway. Baseless comments can be perceived as wisdom if left unchallenged.

        I haven’t dressed anything up, only referred you to an article about opinion polls. So I don’t understand why you are being offensive towards me. You have expressed your opinions, I have expressed mine – this is freedom of speech on a forum kindly gifted to us by aronline. I have been careful to be polite and respectful to you, so why can you not be likewise towards me?

        I am encouraged that you said “… they unduly suffered..”. We disagree about much but if you think the abuse and violence that migrants suffered after the referendum was unwarranted, then I respect you for saying so. It is good that we share some common ground.

        I said that if the decision to leave is reversed it would have to be by the democratic process of either another referendum or a general election. That is to say that I have accepted that we are leaving as a result of the referendum, and that it could only be reversed if the population voted to change that decision. You say that a change would not be tolerated. Are you really saying that you would not respect the will of the people expressed in a democratic process?

        Which of us is more reasonable here?

        It seems as though you want to express your strident views without challenge and that any alternative “is NOT gonna be tolerated at all.”. This country prides itself on being polite, a stalwart democracy and on respecting freedom of speech. I invite you to support those basic British principles.

    • Please, don’t believe what the BBC say without first checking it elsewhere. The bias is embarrassing. The single poll they did, may or may not be accurate. But check others as well.

      • This wasn’t an article by BBC staff. The author is Professor John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, Quite well respected, I believe.

        • The BBC is notoriously selective in it’s choice of ‘experts’. As I said, always check multiple sources before accepting what the BBC says. In this instance, they are again pushing an editorial line as fact. This isn’t news, it’s political posturing.

        • The BBC are also very selective in their choice of ‘experts’. I point you no further than the refusal to interview anybody who is even vaguely critical of the EU, immigration, rape gangs, etc. The so-called ‘experts’ they feature on motor industry issues are almost always academics, rather than engineers! I point you at ‘Dieselgate’!

  63. This whole debate does seen to divide opinion.

    I really don’t understand, and an little nearer in understanding, the reason for this leave vote. That said the EU seems to have really upset the 17.4 million people who voted to leave. While it’s clear what the 16.1 million who voted to stay wanted, the opinion of the remaining 32.1 million is also unclear either because they decided not to vote or they didn’t have a mandate.

    I was surprised to discover myself in agreement with Nigel Farage, who is calling for a second referendum. Hopefully if that were to occur every it would close the debate for at least a generation.

  64. Yet another polarised Brexit debate. This time in what used to be a sanctuary from politics current troubles for us all. As someone who considered voting for each alternative before deciding, it never fails to amaze me how polarised views are. It was never black and white, for either alternative. Both campaigns attempted to “wind up” the electorate with exaggerations and half truths, whether it be that all the money would go to the NHS or the emergency budget that never was. We need balanced views and people ready to compromise and find common ground. Do that and we’ll prosper, in or out!

  65. How many polls do we have to have until we get the ‘right’ answer??? Bit like Scottish devolution. I wish the UK could have voted in that….
    Anybody who thinks you can successfully base an economy on the mass migration of cheap labour or that this is in any way sustainable should look at the fall of the Roman Empire. Or nearer to this day the Gulf States (who are frantically trying to reverse these policies).
    The EU is bankrupt, get used to it. The social and welfare systems Europe has are not sustainable and inside a couple of generations wont exist. Really whether we leave or not is immaterial, Europe on 10 years time will be very very different from today.
    BBC= Biased Broadcasting Corporation (usually replace Broadcasting too).

    • If British people who are capable of working but chose not to then the answer is either mass migration or a work for benefits scheme.

      If there’s upward mobility this is even more pronounced.

      Please explain what the fall of the Roman Empire fits into things.

      At least some people here aren’t stooges for multi Billionares wanting even more tax breaks.

      • Who do you think gains from a system that offers the minimum contracted hours for the least possible pay? What motivation is there to apply for a job with no security or hope of advancement?

        • It’s better than having all your benefits cancelled & being on a blacklist before having to reapply for them all, being treated as a new case.

  66. I think if all Brexiteers ever wanted was more migration control then they will get it. But the reality is that might be about all they get. In which case people are entitled to ask was it worth it?

  67. In 1940-41 there was a war on, remember? Coal was *the* most important substance on the planet to the British war effort. Everything but everything ran on it either directly or indirectly.
    So what did the wonderful hardworking patriotic British coal miners at one mine do at this point?

    A: worked their tuberculosis riddled backsides off?
    B: Sat around doing sod all and imagining future halcyon days where they would be colourful rustic background to Ewan Macgregor trying to nail a skinny chick with a VW Beetle?
    C:Went on strike because they didn’t like the tea lady?

    The correct answer is ‘C’

    I know the EU hasn’t managed to submit accounts that add up for 40 years and that they’re collectively about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. I know the only thing more corrupt than an EU delegate is a southern senator..

    But at least the EU isn’t actively suicidal. Leaving the British collective to govern itself is like putting an emo teen on the top of the Burj Dubai. The only way is down – at speed.

    And it’s worse now than it ever was. Given the latest generation and their current mental performance – the retards are about to take over the asylum and personally I’d like some sort of counterbalance to that – even if it’s a dribblingly inane, corrupt, bunch of guff spouting wazzocks (anyone know what wazzock translates to in German?) it’s better than nothing.

    After all the only thing we manage to produce when left to our own devices is strikes.

  68. The fall of the Roman Empire was preceded by waves of migrants who provided cheap labour and gradually eroded the commonly held Roman values….
    As for the stuff about the miners – What?? 1941 – Ewan Macgregor? Volkswagen Beetle?
    You know nothing about the mining industry. BTW in 1941 936 persons died in the mines, I wonder that they were dreaming about.
    Until 1941 when the Soviet Union entered the war, communists in Britain, having little commitment to the war effort, refused to be bound by the national unity consensus and in particular the ban on strike action. During the first few months of the war, there were over 900 strikes, almost all of them very short but illegal nonetheless. Despite the provisions of Order 1305 there were very few prosecutions until 1941 since Bevin, anxious to avoid the labour unrest of the First World War, sought to promote conciliation rather than conflict.
    Now does that sound familiar?
    Many people would argue the ECB social and fiscal policy IS suicidal.

    • The Romans invaded and later mated with the proto-French, 200 years of that and there went the Roman empire – (eBay ad c. 417ce Frankish Spatha – never used, dropped once.
      Watch the film “Brassed off” and you’ll get the VW reference – actually very good (Pete Postlethwaite at least).
      Read Corelli Barnett “the audit of war” for the rest of how utterly monumentally earth shatteringly crap the British on their own are – we’ve basically only ever won anything or succeeded at anything by dumb luck (Dunkirk, Bmc Mini/1100 etc) or others incompetence (Armada, and Dunkirk).
      But the best bit is 90% of the ideas we claim credit for come from foreigners living here (Ottoman Issigonis and Bessemers uncredited sidekick being notable examples).
      Our talents revolve around invading things (and accidental associated war crimes) and acting smug (England). Finding something to hit, drink, or preferably both at once while whingeing about the english (Scotland) and last and very definitely least losing every war they ever fought due to arguing amongst themselves, providing cannon fodder for the english and whining about pseudo-independence (they lost real independence by, you guessed it, arguing amongst themselves) after which they will return to their favourite favourite pastime, arguing amongst themselves (their current favourite being to argue with the English). The Irish are much more complex and interesting – but the majority seem to keep their heads down and crank out Irish music and stout (both items with which I am in complete agreement) although you get the odd few that like to blow things up in a not strictly controlled sense and surprise surprise – argue with the English..
      All in all – since all are represented in the Parliament (plus/minus the Irish officially) a group of people that couldn’t come to a sensible decision if their peerages depended on it.. And you expect everything to work out?

      Good luck with that.

      • Er…yes. or is it, no ? Whatever you’ve been smoking, I should moderate it a little, at least for a time

        • @ Christopher S. Do you mean am I in or out? Voted out but I’d not do that a second time. Have a read of Barnetts book and you’ll probably understand why. I don’t like the EU but I think I like it better than having full autonomy for the buck toothed cretins in Westminster.
          But no one on here has mentioned the way this has boosted racism and abuse in the UK – to a point where for the first time EVER that I can we had a racist assault in the park across the road – this is Colchester – it hasn’t been exciting since the Romans left.
          I can see our economy going down faster than a Clinton intern – and it’ll be trainspotting with a side order of racism. Or maybe a remake of 28 days later dir. M.Bormann & R.Heydrich.

          No one seems to understand. However this ends the UK isn’t going to benefit. Whether we go or stay its going to be an unqualified disaster – it’s just a matter of *which* unqualified unmitigated disaster – the government takes your money and subverts your choice.

      • The third lot being the Welsh by the way. A group of people that remind me very much of a less likeable version of the Nac Mac Feegle.

  69. What you say about the Roman Empire sounds like an Alt-Right myth.

    Certainly over time the Romans granted all free people full Roman citizenship, but that seemed to be part of their “bread & circuses” to keep the plebs happy, & slavery was fairly open ended too, again to keep things in line. If anything the Roman style rubbed off on their vassal states, even in Britain tribal chiefs evetually dressed in togas.

    The Empire more likely collapsed as the amount of back stabbing factions among the ruling elite grew, especially as bad emperors often nominated even worse successors so their track record didn’t seem so bad.

  70. I think the break-up of GKN is an example of how the UK does not care about it’s companies, IP, manufacturing, science or engineering. Most of our woes are self made. Blaming the EU is childish and mostly incorrect.
    The UK should have pride and ambition. The break-up of GKN shows that it does not. If we were serious about the UK we would not tolerate the break-up of GKN especially after the referendum. This would not happen in the US, Germany or France. Shame on us. Brexit is a sham that will make us 2nd rate.
    Go an much on your foreign owned Cadburys, HP sauce, Oxford marmalade.

  71. I worked in a busy Audio Visual department of a local college for 21 years and got made redundant in June 2014 due to cost cutting, I have been applying for work ever since and bloody rotting away because everything I apply for has either come back with several responses :

    Absolute NOTHING,

    A typical automated reply – Due to the high number of applicants for the job, we cannot give feedback on individual applications, if we do not respond within x-number of days, then please assume we will not be proceeding with your application,

    There is nothing for you at this point in time however we will keep your details on record and will get in touch should anything come up in future,

    Thank you for applying for the post, we like your skillsbase and experience but have decided to take on somebody who more matches our requirements but we will keep your details on record and should anything suitable come up in future, we will get in touch.

    It seems to me that EU migrants are getting the first bite of the cherry for everything over British people and I think this is most unfair, I and millions in my position who have been made redundant and forced to a life on benefit through no fault of our own rotting our lives away trying to get work are getting short sharp shift through free movement of EU migrants, open borders, and lax immigration controls and you do-gooders and pro EU fanatics think this is a fair price to pay IS IT??????

    Roll on Brexit Day, 29th March 2018, I’m gonna celebrate with a BBQ and fireworks for British people only and NO MIGRANTS AT ALL INVITED. Be the best day ever!!!

    • You have my sympathy and support Anthony… and I understand your situation well. Good luck in the future both Pre & Post Brexit.

    • Is this for real? – note the date?!

      I do a job far less skilled in 2006, so maybe it’s your attitude to applying to jobs is at fault rather than scapegoating, & you can apply for positions anywhere in the EU to boot.

      • Why is it my attitude in applying for jobs RichardPD ?

        Can employers see through a magic ball and predict the future and what individual people are thinking in their applying for jobs ?

        Do you think that’s possible ?

        Any other useless brainless thick theories you can come up with ?

        I am sorry but unlimited immigration and employers treating existing Brit workers like dog muck on the bottom of your shoe i.e cheap paltry pay and all hours 24:7 working with Brits being palmed off if they don’t like for cheap EU labour who can’t speak a word of English is a lazy excuse to pick on and brand British period as lazy and is a mere cop-out clause for British business, fact.

        • I don’t my theories are any worse than the things Leavers promised us but have been falling apart on a daily basis, even they expense account spoiled journalists, politicians & billionaires who will never feel the effects when things go pear shaped.

          Immigration has been part of British life for 70 years so there’s no excuse for slobbing along through your education & expecting to get a decent job at the end of it, especially as full employment has been a thing of the past for 40 years now.

          Don’t play the Nationalism card with me, sorry but that became null & void 50 years ago when commonwealth countries realised they didn’t need to suck up the the “Mother Country” any more & the far east was better value for money.

          • Whatever, Brits have a right to feel angry at the laxness of border control and unlimited immigration, whether by anger, verbals or not etc and although it’s wrong, if a migrant has commit a crime against a Brit in the UK take it out on those who come here who’ve committed that crime since the police can’t do nothing due to cuts, and I’ll tell you something else for nothing, Australia and America handles immigration and border control better than we do, they check everything you come across with : a)criminal records
            b)financial situation
            c)job skills,
            d)whether you have a job offer and lots more, and if they don’t like your excuses, sorry, story, for example, in wanting to come to their country and you cannot adequately justify the reasons for coming over or something flashes up you haven’t declared like assault murder or drugdealing etc, you are turned around and sent back immediately with NO RIGHTS TO APPEAL AT ALL AND OVERTURN AND OVERTHROW THAT DECISION, whereas with the UK THEY HAVE RIGHTS TO APPEAL and overturn A REFUSAL OF ENTRY, which they damn shouldn’t have at all.

            Roll on Brexit day next year, things will only spike up again….Brexit abuse take two.

    • Not “despite” but “because of” I’d say: apparently it is considered wiser to build all PSA vans for the UK-market in the Luton plant, to avoid risks of currency rates or import duties. Possible exports would then only be a bonus.

  72. 50% of immigration is from outside the EU.
    As an employee I cannot find enough suitable engineers. We are not training enough engineers. STEM students from the UK are getting rarer.
    Most of our woes are our own fault NOT the EU. We could have limited EU immigration but we chose not to. Our fault not the EU.
    We flog off our industries and companies. Our fault not the EU.
    Leaving the EU is not the answer. It just a petty way of transferring the blame to someone else. We are 6th largest economy and 8th largest manufacturing country in the world. To better this will be very hard, we are already great in world terms. We have kept our world standing largely because we are in the EU.
    We already export outside the EU. Leaving the EU will substantially increase no EU exports.
    What we need is better transfer of wealth across the UK rather than to the parasitic City of London.

  73. Well we are leaving, no fudging the fact, you grow up for a change instead of saying how sorry the UK will be when we’ve left etc and trying to put deliberate downers on it and trying to spoilsport it as you are, if you don’t like it you’ll have to live with it, the vote has been taken, the decision is made, the people have spoken, DEAL WITH IT.

    Like I say Brexit Day 29th March, these people are going to get more short sharp shrift from Brits to celebrate the snapping of the rope and ties that bind us to the corrupt continent and unelected people who control our country…..

    • It’s ironic that the brexiteers have been acting childish too, bawling like brats about something they don’t like but clueless to how to change it, just dumping the problem on people who would say the status quo is the best option.

      I see you need some more fake news bebunking too, but you seem to be too mentally immature to deal with it.

      • And you’re not exactly brilliant either : I am gonna have a celebratory BBQ and fireworks on Brexit Day March 29th next year for white British only and I don’t care if I see EU migrants upset because I ain’t going to come to their aid nor help them so go stuff RichardPD

          • None of my white neighbours get involved with EU migrants nor get to know them nor help them out / be nice to them etc, satisfied? We’re ALL bigots…..

  74. Can we please not let this normally friendly site turn into some flame war like you’d get on Twitter? I think a lot of the debate around Brexit has turned toxic and the hardliners on both sides are making it hard for those of us who favour a soft Brexit and continuing trade with the EU.

  75. Can someone on the Brexit side explain how we can beat our current position of being the world’s 5th largest economy and 8th largest manufacturing country by leaving the EU?

  76. I asked weeks ago for a line to be drawn under this thread, but the request fell on deaf ears. This time, perhaps, someone will act to put a stop to what has become a very unpleasant exchange of crassly unintelligent comments

  77. Christopher. I will draw a line on my comments when someone on the Brexit side can answer my question.
    “Can someone on the Brexit side explain how we can beat our current position of being the world’s 5th largest economy and 8th largest manufacturing country by leaving the EU”
    For those who sat ‘get on with it’, you lost, stop moaning. Let them remember that those against the EU and previously the EEC have been moaning since we joined. So I have then same right as them to challenge leaving the EU.

  78. If you think about coming back, you will be welcome, because Britain IS a European country anyway. If you prefer to stay apart, Great Britain will turn into Little England. Good bye Northern Ireland, good bye Scotland, Brexit is going to speed up the process of desintegration of the United Kingdom.

    Britain is stronger in Europe, this is the only reality.

    From Paris, with love.

    • The people have decided, it’s happening, and that’s all there is to it – I couldn’t really care less if England becomes Little England with it’s unwelcoming, uncaring, unsharing and negative attitudes toward EU migrants, free movements, lax border controls, and no rights to kick out illegals with the EU protecting these people’s human rights and dignity and no rights to check out migrants on entry vetting all credentials like criminal records behaviour and character before we let them in and decide on that basis along with job skills financial situation and other necessary vetting whether we actually want your people here in the United Kingdom, GOODBYE EUROPE AND GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD EUROPEAN RUBBISH, WE DON’T WANT YOU WE DON’T NEED YOU WE NEVER DESIRED YOU SO BON VOYAGE PARIS AND ALL OTHER EUROPEAN CITIES AND YOUR COUNTRIES AUF WIEDERSEHEN!

      goodbye farewell adios from the EU, goodbye to you and you and you and you (instrumental),

      goodbye farewell the EU is a bore, you’re a horrid continent and we hate you more and more (instrumental),

      goodbye farewell the EU is a dump, you ruined our country and kicked it up the frump (instrumental),

      goodbye farewell the EU is a fool, you tell us what to do and you are so bloody cruel….(instrumental)

      • The usual brexiteer delusions I would type more but it’s boring to type Ug 100 times so it’s a level most people here would understand.

  79. Thanks Francois.
    There are a lot of us over this side of the channel who can see how mad this whole unnecessary and damaging project is. Even to us though it seems that so much damage has already been done that there’s no viable option of turning back. It’s good to know that there are people in mainland Europe that would be as glad as I would to put this whole sorry episode behind us and move on!

    • As a foreigner (Dutchman to be precise) I felt rather hesitant about joining this ferocious debate. Perhaps however this is a good moment to let you know my family of certified Anglophiles very much regret you’re leaving. Not sure yet this is really going to happen, I fear you’ll end up like Norway of Switzerland: pay, obey, no say. In any case, I’m afraid you’ll pay a rather heavy price (just like the rest of Europe, the Dutch in particular), so I just hope your gouvernment will handle this whole issue sensibly. Sorry to say, not much evidence yet for the latter, though. Wish you all the best and hope te continue spending many happy holidays in our Kentish cottage.

  80. I hear the Italians & Portuguese are not entirely happy with the EU – neither is Hungary. Such being the case, the EU “Management” are trying to make Britain an example to warn the other dissenting member countries from leaving themselves. Britain will survive with or without the EU (it should have stayed as the EEC)

    • But Hilton D, over the years the EU has become ever more powerful and domineering over the UK in it’s legislative powers and has become far too big for it’s boots : no wonder Brits wanted the referendum on whether we stayed or leaved, resulting in millions of angry Brits getting their own way to LEAVE and EU migrants got caught up in the verbal abuse, physical abuse, vandalism, and crossfire of the result by defiant and triumphant Brits, who on the back of that result, took it out on them……and caused the spike in hate incidents and xenophobia.

      It’ll happen again on Brexit Day 29th March next year with even more of it, possibly even worse than the EU referendum LEAVE result day after the referendum…..Little England here we come take 2.

  81. I think it’s time the name calling and back biting ended and we got on with the job of getting a satisfactory Brexit. Most people are fed up of insults like Sun reader, bigot, racist, elderly, thickos, rednecks, that are flung at people who voted Leave, or from the other side, sell outs, traitors, metropolitan liberals, snobs, Eurofanatics, snowflakes, when Remainers are discussed. It’s not helping the debate and is stereotyping people, as I know people from both camps who aren’t like this at all.

  82. If this were a football forum I’d post something like
    “This tread” and a gif of someone rolling their eyes.
    I’m a remoaner. I think

    a/ Brexit is economic madness

    b/motivated in large part by naked racism

    c/motivated largely by a wish to avoid the rich having to declare their offshore and untaxed income.

    d/I think that the result was “fine edge,” and if people had been told that it would include leaving the customs union and single market they would have voted differently

    e/That any deal should be ratified by a second referendum

    This “will of the people rhetoric is something I’ve heard before. Mostly coming from communist Russia.

    Now let the flaming begin

    • No flaming from here!

      Add the fact that Donald Trump thought that it was a really good idea then it must, by definition, be a really bad one. With such narrow and protectionalist views, I’m sure that he will be happy to see such a strong group as the EU divided and weakened.

      I think back to the dark days of the referendum and the number of people who were complaining that they “haven’t been given enough information” to make a decision. They went ahead and voted anyway, as if it was some kind of glorified stundent politics, rather than the single most important vote that they were ever likely to make and one that, it would appear, they will have no chance to undo.

      Equal weighting in the media was given to the lunatic fringe (Nigel Firage, Boris Johnson, the Daily Mail) as it was with well qualified economists (who remembers the cry that “people are fed up with listening to the opinions of experts”!!!)?

      I can think of no point in history when a reluctant government were galvanised into such a self destructive course of action on such a narrow result, a result that parliament could have legitimately voted against.

    • Ah! but the remoaning REMAIN voters didn’t get their way, the racist LEAVE brexiteers DID, and things are moving forward ahead fast, too late for squeamishness now and attempting to change it, there is only one way and that’s FORWARD, and that’s the direction we are taking…….I personally couldn’t care if migrants went back because of the disgust they feel because of what’s happening to the UK and the selfishness and unwelcomeness they feel from angry Joe British and Welsh Public, and the UK being told what to do by an unelected bumpkin bunch of buffoons in Brussels, LITTLE ENGLAND I LOVE IT and I look forward to it, if you want go your own merry way Scotland and Eire and stay in Europe and the traitorous customs union and toothless single markets then by all means do it……but leave England and Wales alone in that, and let us manage our own affairs…

      • Anthony adding to the well reasoned debate here.

        As I stated we were told repeatedly that we could have Norway/Switzerland/Lichtenstein type of arrangement when we leave, now we’re being told we cant. The whole brexit process has been highjacked by extremists.

        Of course we can survive outside the EU/Single Market/Customs union. But I doubt if we can flourish. The myth about being told what to do by the EU is just that, a myth.

        • What’s racist about looking out for the interests of your country when it comes to border control and immigration control by picking and choosing whom comes in and whom gets around????? Nothing at all… I’d rather be strict and mean BUSINESS over who comes in and turning around whom shouldn’t, than being soft and allow anyone to come in unrestricted, only do-gooders and human rights brigadiers like Drae welcome free movement no checking and no restriction and think we should celebrate and appreciate EU migrants than control those coming in and get rid of whom shouldn’t be here in the first place, THAT’S NOT RACISM THAT IS GOOD COMMON SENSE…..

          • You do know that excessive use of cap locks, like coloured pens and underlining is an indication of the state of your mental health.

            I’m flattered you think I’m a do-gooder. I always try to do the right thing. You should try it some time

          • Fine Drae, let Scotland split from the UK, let your SNP bossyboots idiot Nicola Sturgeon have her way, let her welcome EU migrants etc unrestricted with no controls and be overrun by these misfits who come to Scotland, but i’ll tell you one thing, while your country wants to welcome these people, we Brits have had enough of being in Europe and we are on the way out, the wheels are in motion, the cogs are turning, and that is forward ahead and speeding to the door marked Brexit.

            Goodbye Scotland, keep your EU migrants and let more in without controls and be overrun, you’ve always been understanding to these people whom you love so much, we Brits don’t love these people and our voices are much louder than yours, we don’t regret Brexit, we don’t regret at all voting to LEAVE, we don’t care about EU migrants packing up and going home like Scotland does, we care about who comes in and we like to control and check out who comes in and we feel it necessary to send back criminals and those with bad behaviours and criminal pasts unlike Scotland whom looks past all that and accepts regardless, Brexit for Brits, it’s happening, bring it on…………….

            And I don’t like being a do-gooder and tackling people I’d rather leave them to their own devices regardless of hurt etc.

        • Sorry but the general direction is OUT OF EUROPE, the high number of people whom voted LEAVE want it along with myself, and we don’t regret either, our decision to do so either, we are GLAD EU migrants are going back or are making plans to do so, WE CAN tighten up our borders and pick’n’choose who comes into our country and turn away who SHOULD NOT come here in the first place, WE WILL be able to decide our own laws and legislation, WE WILL have the right to expel and remove illegals without recourse to appeal and overturn those removals by the illegal migrants, WE WILL have the right to request migrants speak English and NOT break our laws and get rid of those who do, it’s nice doing good isn’t it John like the EU do-gooder you are isn’t it?

          • So you agree Brexit is about racism. Thanks for making that clear Anthony.

  83. The childishness of this thread makes me despair , and the inflammatory posts e.g. that referring to Pol Pot( and the one suggesting mental illness ) by people who then pretend they are on the side of reason are nothing short of despicable . On any reasonably well moderated board this thread would have been locked long ago and allowed quietly to wither away

    • It’s what happens when people are presented with the facts to prove the folly of their opinion & refuse to accept them, instead acting in a way that makes the though processes of a spoilt brat seem controlled, which is all to easy to counteract with similarly infantile comments as it seemed they will only respond to such a reply.

    • That’s a very selective reading of the tread. Let me just repeat The nature of many of the these posts display evidence of a very disturbed state of mental health. Yes, I said that and I don’t draw back from it. Equally while I did not make the post where someone made a comparison with Pol Pot, I can easily see the similarity between Pol Pot and the frankly racist comments being posted. Such racist remarks should not go unchallenged. For evil to flourish it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.

  84. It seems the last 3 years we’ve had a very toxic level of political debate, from the fanatical supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, to the extremists in the Leave and Remain camp. No one except political zealots benefits from any of this and I think it’s time people considered getting the best deal for the country when we leave the EU than continue hurling insults.

    • Which boils down to getting a Norway style deal with free market access or staying in.

      A no-deal is not an option unless you are Billionaire tax dodger or really like a 2nd or 3rd world lifestyle.

  85. It’s very much a shame that this site has resorted to politicising and fear mongering. That’s all I have to say on the subject.

  86. Keith Evans : as the creator of this ( once excellent ) site, do you have a death wish for it ? Not only have you reignited what had become thoroughly unpleasant exchanges of views ( I will not dignify them with the description “debate” ) but all the vituperative exchanges have now been re-posted on this new thread . As is clear from today’s posts, people are leaving in droves

    • This is a genuine enquiry since I am having problems posting responses, but am I missing some posts?

      ” As is clear from today’s posts, people are leaving in droves ”

      Yours is the first post today and since this article was set again on 2nd July I can see only 4 comments, none of which indicate people are leaving.

    • Christopher: you could at least do me the courtesy of getting my name right. This is a blog. An opinion piece. My opinion piece. Whether people choose to engage with it or not doesn’t really matter – I wanted to vent my feelings; and perhaps encourage others who feel the same to do something about it.

      I’m sorry you’re offended by the level and manner of debate in this story. But ultimately everyone is entitled to an opinion. And I hope that doesn’t stop people coming here to continue enjoying all the other 8000 stories on this site, some of which are quite interesting.

  87. People keep saying that the UK government are dragging their feet (BMW airbus) .But they
    are not wringing to the German or french about trying to come to an agreement, At the end of the day is takes two to tango and the eu is always going to disagree with us, let them keep their vw,s and Renaults there is a lot of non European makers out there ( i have suddenly started to see a lot of mg lately).it is like the eu wants to stop exporting to us then we will adatap though nessitiy as we have always done.

    • Don’t forget the countries where makers of those non-EU cars are made will have an EU-wide trade deal, & I seriously doubt they will negotiate a better deal with UK alone.

      So basically expect to pay more for a car in future due to tarriffs or bad deals, or go for a Norway deal.

  88. Leave it to time – there is much to sort out and things have a tendency to work out in the end.

    This is just scaremongering and negativity which is unhelpful.

    Business is all about risk and disruption. Christ, this country has been through far worse and survived. We will be fine.

    • It cannot be left to time, there isn’t any left! Business is not going to just wait and see forever, they have forecasts and planning to do for the next several years. There may not be immediate closures, however when the time comes for new contracts to be awarded UK plants might not be the chosen ones! This will apply to all business though, not just automotive.

      • Fine, let them get on with it. Let’s see if these companies want to chance the negative PR that will result.

        Let’s see what plucky new startups take advantage of changed market conditions.

        It’s all blind threats – large businesses are scared of anything that threatens their model. They will have to become more accustomed to change. The world is changing and change is rarely predictable.

    • But with no clear plan that is agreeable on both sides, at what cost and how long do we wait until we point at Brexit and say “see? it all came good in the end”. The world moves fast – when we voted at the referendum, nobody seriously thought Donald Trump would be US President so after day one things have changed. And I don’t think we are better off now we voted to leave so I will probably be dead before that is declared one way or the other.

  89. A combination of a “muddle through” attitude and wishful thinking may be the bread and butter of many Brexiteers but, sadly, it’s of little use for the strategic planning of major car manufacturers all of whom have a lot to lose should this turn out to be somewhere between a political fudge and outright chaos. My money is on outright chaos, dressed up with a veneer of political fudge!

    PS: Thank you to Keith for including such an important and controversial subject on the site

  90. The country voted and which ever party is in power HAS to deliver on the vote.

    Most people are fed up with what the Europen union dictated the UK had to do and not do.

    I do agree with the fact that the car industry may well suffer but i think we will all suffer not because we are leaving but because the clueless government have been caught on the hop. they had no plans for a brexit result.
    Camerwrong seriously thought the result was going to be a stay in the euro.

    However, the result was to leave and at this time now the country needs a strong leadership to get the right deal but this is NOT going to happen.

    Teressa May has so much infighting within the conservative party to deal with, she appears to be undermined by her own party.
    Our leaders should be dictating the terms of leaving Euro not the other way around.
    Sounds silly but it’s not.
    Germanys car manufacturers have already said they should go easy on the UK leaving as they have so much car building happening here. they are right but the EU doesn’t want other countries leaving so they want to penalise the UK.
    Italy is looking at leaving along with Spain so you can see why the UK will be penalised for leaving.
    We need a strong party to leave

    • Some very wishful thinking there, especially regarding Italy & Spain, they have too much to lose.

      The Tory Hard Right should have an in party coup to replace May if they are as serious as they say, but then they don’t have a scapegoat for when things go pearshaped.

    • There was no reason that the government HAD to accept the result, the result was not binding; it was still for parliament to decide.

      When it all goes wrong, the Brexit backers will always say that it was “ the wrong sort of Brexit”. The problem, at the time of the election, was that very, very few people seemed to have had any positive ideas as to what they were voting for to put in place instead of Europe. It just seems to have been an opportunity to kick the establishment and wreck what was in place.

      • Stop worrying. The Civil Service will be sorting it all out behind the scenes. Ignore the Westminster soap opera and press histrionics.

        It will work out and we will move forward with changed circumstances. Nothing new about change, we’ve survived much worse than this.

        Less knee jerk histeria would be far more sensible at a time like this.

    • “Most people are fed up with what the Europen (sic) union dictated the UK had to do and not do.”?

      I could just about agree with 52% of those who voted to leave, but that is not most, and I would want to ask those “most people” what exactly they have objected to? HEalth and Safety? EU migrants propping up the public (and in some cases the private) sector? Straight bananas? Workers rights? I would also ask what they object to from the UK government, or even local government and the state of potholes!
      I think it is clearer that the EU wants (rightly for its members) to protect “the club”. We want to leave the club, so need to pay what we promised and suffer the consequences of leaving the club, just like it would be for you in a car club (discounts on parts and insurance etc.).

  91. Keith Adams : apologies for getting your name wrong. From what you write, I rather think you have not seen some of the quite disgraceful abuse hurled in previous posts – around March/April – at some people ( not in this case me ) . Whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion , there are limits to the way in which these opinions are expressed in a civilised forum, and as others have noted it is beginning to destroy what once was a very interesting – and useful – site

  92. Boris Johnson “F**k Business” – says it all really, and he could have been PM by now – Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher would be spinning in their graves.
    If Brexit is partly about limiting non-EU immigration have a look at what a poor job Theresa May made of it while Home Secretary.
    He may be controversial but I suspect Jeremy Corbyn is sitting on the fence keeping his powder dry while the Tories implode due to the lack of competent leadership.

    • Comrade Corbyn would probably love Britain to leave the EU capitalist club his party was so strongly against in the early eighties, when he was first elected and Labour was too left wing to win the 1983 election. Like Michael Foot and Tony Benn, and possibly some of the more extreme people on the Leave side, Corbyn would love Britain to become some kind of siege economy with state controlled industries churning out products no one would want to buy.

  93. Well this thread continues to generate the usual ping pong of the Brexit argument, particularly Big John’s essays.

    There is some history to look at here I think. BL hoped and expected us to join the EEC before 1973 and if we had, a lot more 1100s and Minis would likely have been sold due to tariff alignment. Not having that opportunity held UK car manufacturers (and other sectors) back, and then when we did join our products were simply not good enough.
    Leaving a customs union will likely cause the same in reverse – organisations will simply go elsewhere.
    Why there is a “you are talking this country down” as if we believe wishing us to be a little island off Europe to be a global trading power is disingenuous. Wishing to win on penalties doesn’t always work!
    Keith’s blog is spot on. We have to leave (because 37% of the population voted for us to do so), but making things harder for us to do business with the EU makes no sense at all. The EU27 can’t individually have trade deals with us, and it took Canada many years to reach an agreement. We already have one, with the advantage of having a say, but we’ve thrown that away.
    Finally, blaming the EU for the current mess is misguided. We haven’t had a negotiating position (let alone a plan) since June 2016 – nearly two years. It is our fault this has not happened with in-fighting inside both main parties (much as in the country as a whole – so they are “representing” us!).

    Ultimately, this has been a colossal waste of money and time when we can least afford it. The problems of this country could be solved using that time and money rather than more and more bureaucracy and jobs for the boys and gals. £2bn a year just on the process of Brexit.

    As many of us on both sides probably feel, I wish the whole thing was a dream and we could get on with helping the NHS, social care, housing, education and not this false austerity and lack of a money tree when £bns are being wasted on chat about Brexit.

    • It’s really not a problem, it will work out and we will move forward. Business is not about certainty, it’s about innovation and adapting to changing circumstances. The companies throwing out blind threats would do well to remember this.

      If businesses are well run and competitive, they will be able to adapt to an independent UK and prosper through it.

      People are trying to protect their vested interests and unfortunately, this pointless backwards and forwards arguing over it’s and bit’s is dominating the press coverage. The reality is the Civil Service will be sorting this all out behind the scenes and will have had plans in place long before the referendum.

      Just everyone calm down and cut the negativity.

  94. Aren’t Jaguar, Airbus and BMW in the UK well run? I don’t think they are being hysterical when they look at this issue.

    Jaguar Land Rover’s £80bn UK investment plan at risk after hard Brexit

    Airbus plans UK job cuts amid fears of hard Brexit impact

    BMW will shut UK sites if customs delays clog supply post-Brexit

    These companies will not close down their businesses here in the next year or two if conditions are not suitable, but as investment in the UK motor industry has already fallen by half so far this year, we can anticipate what will happen. The effect of lack of investment in the UK motor industry is well documented on this site.

  95. Unfortunately, you are hardly likely to sway a hardened Brexiteer with evidence and illustrated argument; theirs is an emotional argument that will dismiss inconvenient facts as “Project fear” and may even say that they are “Fed up with hearing the opinions of experts”. It’s a bit like using an evidence based argument to illustrate the case for the MMR jab against an emotional anti-vaxxer, it just doesn’t work!

  96. It’s a shame this bullshit has infested this great website. Can’t people just keep a lid on all the drama and political point scoring?

  97. To have a successful negotiation there has to be good will and a willingness to consider compromise from both parties. If one side says nothing but “non” you can hardly heap all of the blame on the other for not making progress.

  98. Apparently the economy was supposed to have collapsed by now, according to the more extreme Remainers. Actually for all there has been a slight downturn and a modest increase in inflation, the economy is still doing OK and unemployment is down to its lowest level since 1975. However, I do think we need a sensible Brexit that ensures we can continue trading with the EU and set up new trade deals with other countries.

  99. Apparently the economy was supposed to have collapsed by now, according to the more extreme Remainers. Actually for all there has been a slight downturn and a modest increase in inflation, the economy is still doing OK and unemployment is down to its lowest level since 1975. However, I do think we need a sensible Brexit that ensures we can continue trading with the EU and set up new trade deals with other countries.

  100. I asked this question a few months ago and I don’t think that I got a sensible answer back.
    “Can someone on the Brexit side explain how we can beat our current position of being the world’s 5th largest economy and 8th largest manufacturing country by leaving the EU?”

    • Trade more widely outside of the EU with developing countries such as China, India etc. Increase our manufacturing base in the UK through intelligent policy making and rolling back some of the expensive legislation that makes it costly to hire labour in the UK. Take more risks. Alter immigration policy to favour specific skills which will make us more competitive.

      Just a few options there.

      • Thanks for posting this through a 2 year time warp!

        That’s going to be hard if it’s going to take years to get decent trade deals & there’s only a few niche products that places like China & India can’t already make for less.

        I’m sure also our workers will not more than happy to lose benefits & pay just to have a gamble on job security.

        Also won’t those countries want increased immigration (skilled or unskilled) as a trade off for easy market access?

      • I will credit you on your response, since this question has been asked in various ways and I can’t recall any other attempt to offer some ideas. But I have to point out some problems with what I think are aspirations rather than practical ways and means.

        Both China and India are not developing countries, but newly industrialised countries (NIC) which are somewhat wealthier and more economically powerful. Given that China is building nuclear power stations for us and Indian companies own JLR and a chunk of our remaining steel industry, I suggest we should not see them as easy markets desperate for British goods. And of course we already have a trade deal with both those, and many other, countries negotiated through the EU. If you think that China, the 2nd biggest economy, is going to give us, the 5th biggest economy, a better trade deal than which that they negotiated with the EU, the biggest trading bloc, can you please explain how? And how long might that take?

        What is intelligent policy making? If we haven’t been intelligent so far, what will change that we become so?

        Increasing manufacturing would be good, but why haven’t we done that already? Bear in mind that some sizeable chunks of UK manufacturing (JLR, Nissan, Vauxhall, Toyota, Honda, Airbus, etc.) are owned by overseas corporations that are warning that they might not continue to invest in the UK. We could suffer a big loss in manufacturing, so where will the investment come from to replace them?

        What do you propose to change to make the cost of labour cheaper? Does that mean the ordinary working person has to bear the brunt of changing the labour market? Did the people who voted to leave really vote to be poorer and have fewer workers rights?

        As for immigration, then yes it did help the UK economy. Which specific skills do we want to attract and how do we do that when medical staff, bricklayers, fruit pickers, etc., are leaving – or not coming, because we have made them feel unwelcome?

        • Just a point: the corporations warned that they might leave if Leave became the referendum result. It’s just that I am aware of some people saying that they are scaremongering at the eleventh hour. Not so, we were warned. It was kind of obvious anyway.

          The EU track record and the alternative have been all too obvious for the last ten years. In fact longer, at least since the early 1990s when I was a (reluctant) shop steward. So, yes, Leave voters most definitely voted for fewer workers rights. They may not have realised it but it was and is clear.

          And the ordinary person will always bear the brunt – in or out of the EU, but In we had some serious help in resisting business excess – Out I fear we will be just too vulnerable.

          • Thank you.

            As I am more accustomed to criticism, your thoughts are appreciated.

        • Oops. This was clumsy.

          “If you think that China, the 2nd biggest economy, is going to give us, the 5th biggest economy, a better trade deal than which that they negotiated with the EU, the biggest trading bloc, can you please explain how?”

          It should have said…

          “If you think that China, the 2nd biggest economy, is going to give us, the 5th biggest economy, a better trade deal than that which they negotiated with the EU, the biggest trading bloc, can you please explain how?”

          I must learn to proofread. Apologies.

          • Take on board everything you say, but you know, I am a firm believer that in situations like this, you have to wait for the game to play out before you worry about the result. A lot can happen, a lot will happen and key for any business is to watch what’s going on and work through it, not rail against it.

            I own a business so I speak from a position of first-hand experience. Worrying about the deal to be done is the worst thing anyone can do. Wait and see and then react to the outcome accordingly.

            One man’s disaster is another man’s opportunity.

  101. I’m not wanting to get involved directly in the Brexit maelstrom on here but could I ask what JLR/Tata’s 80 billion is being spent on. Is that in addition to the £20billion reportedly being invested in the new MLA (Modular Longitudinal Architecture) platform which is meant to underpin the 2021 all-new Range Rover? What would that money be spent on? Let’s hope for some kind of smaller, lighter platform too (a Modular Transverse Platform?)

  102. Just signed up to buy a new car made in the EU. Might it be possible that this car, when we leave the EU, could cost 17.5% more, which was the pre EU tariff on imported cars. I am to pay £ 183 a month on PCP, which includes two services, but could the same person next year be paying £ 210 a month. Someone would probably say buy British, but below £ 14,000, there are no new British cars and you have to buy an imported car.
    Not that I am the EU’s biggest fan, and can see the reasons why people voted Leave, but we do need a trade deal that avoids tariffs and possible job losses.

    • There’s no 100% British car! They all contain thousands of parts – some from outside the EU and some from within. In both cases we need to sign new deals by, umm… March next year.

      • @ Lewblew, same as there are no 100% French, German, Italian, Japanese, etc, cars nowadays, the industry is totally multinational. Ford might be the most obvious example of a company whose cars were always considered British being made overseas now, but Fiat has shifted most of its production to Eastern Europe, and a large number of Volkswagens are now made in Spain and Slovakia. Manufacturers now produce cars where it’s cheapest and most convenient.

  103. I am hopeful that the US and UK can strike a deal post Brexit. As my family has been buyers of several recent JLR products here in the states I hope to be able to do so again in the future tariff free. I associate products manufactured in Britain with the world’s best style and quality. I bought my last vehicle specifically due to it being designed and manufactured in the UK.

    • Great to hear it. I’m on my sixth Land Rover on the trot and I’m very happy, though we do have a strange a talent for running down our own home grown products here.
      I’d like to see tariff free trade too but, very sadly, the world seems to be moving very rapidly in the other direction.

  104. The motor industry is only one small part of the overall picture.
    I cant help thinking there are so many parallels between the collapse of the Austro Hungarian Empire and Europe today. Yet still so people many think the rotting hulk of Europe is our only salvation. 67 currency unions failed in the last century but of course we know better nowadays and the Euro will never fail. Ha ha. Well you only have to look at the Target2 imbalances for a financial system stressed to breaking point.
    I’m not even talking about demographics or the total lack of affordability of the present European welfare systems….

  105. According to a poll in The Independent, 60% of voters just want this settled and to move on. I must speak for millions who are neither strongly anti or pro EU who just want a decent deal and an end to the endless pathetic name calling and point scoring on both sides. It would be nice for the likes of William Rees Mogg to be quiet for a while.

  106. By leaving the EU we are leaving the Economic Galapogos which has protected the European car maker from the full force of competition of Japan and Asia.
    Witness the extinction of European brands such as Fiat, Renault Peugeot and the tiny sales figures for VW in the USA and Canada,
    I would welcome the opportunity to acquire a Toyota or a Honda at the price levels USA consumers enjoy.

    • @ cyclist, French cars have made very little impact in America and the alliance between AMC and Renault sunk AMC as they were selling cars that were totally unsuited to the American market and were unreliable. Fiat have only made a comeback due to the merger with Chrysler and even then it’s mostly Italian assembled Jeeps that are selling in America.

      • To be honest the Jap and Korean cars in America are made there, are cheaper than here and have even chased off the home grown opposition, with Ford, GM and FiatChrysler pulling out of many markets. The American manufacturers survive on SUVs, as they have ridiculous tax relief and make they so cheap. A Ford F150 is seriously cheap. However I don’t think we have a chance of getting any cheap motors here with the government likely to charge higher taxes on petrol and diesel to subsidise electric – this would probably been the same if we stayed in the EU or not.

  107. The American car industry is a lot more varied than people realise, and most of the Japenese and Korean badged cars in America are built there, which means the majority of cars sold in America are American. Even BMW, that typically German brand, has a factory in North Carolina. Add the foreign brands with factories in America to the production of the traditional Big Three, and the American car industry is probably as big as it was in the seventies,

    • Ironically many cars made by the Big Three are assembled in Canada or Mexico, and often the ones built in Detroit have many components made outside the USA.

      • That was one of Trumps gripes, that the big three were not building their cars in the US, choosing cheaper wages in Mexico and Canada. Remember the big three are hampered by union agreements negotiated in the 60s and 70s which includes high levels of health care and retirement benefits which not only don’t they face in the US, the newcomers like the Japanese have negotiated lesser deals so it costs them less.

        • I remember someone mentioned elsewhere that when Ford owned Volvo they were surprised that it was cheaper to build cars in Sweden in spite of the higher wages, but pension and healthcare contributions were lower.

          According to my Dad’s cousin’s the Japanese manufacturers had a fair amount of employee benefits, originally the Reagan administration were hoping this would put them off opening factories there, but they had their bluff called. It helped that the factories were in other states other than Michigan with different labour laws.

          • I believe that is why Diamond Motors was created by Chrysler and Mitsubishi – a way round the labour laws by creating a new company, with new factories in different parts of the US. Diamond produced the same car with different badges (Mitsubishi/Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth) and so therefore saving Chrysler money.

      • Yes but the American car industry is still a lot bigger than ours and vehicles like SUVs and pick up trucks are still mostly made in America. Then, for all the Big Three have moaned for decades, the Japanese have created thousands of jobs and their cars are just as American as a Ford.

  108. I remember in the USA in 1978 there was a version of the Mitsu Colt Sapporo coupe sold as a Dodge Challenger. Not sure if it was built there or imported & badged. Again it was the start of an era when Japanese cars were appearing all over the globe.

    During that time we hired an American Ford Granada hire car which was totally different to the European ones. It also sold as a Mercury

  109. Thanks Richard. you have jogged my memory. In fact I remember a neighbour in our street who had a relation who visited in said RHD Mercury Monarch. That’s when I realised it was like the US Granada I had driven

    • You are welcome Hilton.

      OHV60R was a Monarch which was reviewed by the press in 1976, as well as being used in publicity pictures.

      Oddly it was last taxed on 1 May 1989, but the V5C was updated on 8 August 2005. I don’t know if that indicates a change of ownership & it might still be off the road somewhere without a SORN.

  110. Interesting Richard. The Mercury Monarch that visited our street was a light blue metallic. Our US Granada hire car was in solid light blue. Aside from that, a second car we hired in Louisiana was also a Granada (2 door saloon in maroon red). The summer of 78 – happy days

    • @Hilton D, the last year of the really outrageous American gas guzzlers, with Fords still available with 7 litre V8s, before the second energy in 1979 sped up the downsizing process, and 5 litres was considered the absolute limit for mass produced V8s and many full sized cars went over to six cylinder engines.

  111. Right Glenn… Yes the energy crisis caused a re-think of engine sizes with car manufacturers. I never knew what size engine our US Granada hire cars had, but they were automatic of course, with aircon and cruised along smoothly as I recall. I may still have a photo of the blue one that I took to record the event.

    • Possibly the Granada was a 4.9 V8, still huge by British standards, but small compared with many American V8s of this era. By 1978, with the power down due to emissions controls, bigger American cars were built for comfort and cruising than the muscle cars of the previous era. Then came the 1979 energy crisis and the huge queues for petrol and a switch to smaller engined cars that were often terrible compared with their Japanese competitors.

  112. Whatever engine it had, it was a comfortable cruiser. I think 55mph speed limits were in force. As it was in 1978 we just missed the 79 energy crisis. The second 2 door hire Granada was collected in Baton Rouge and returned to New Orleans airport to catch our flight back. Still got a good memory of those days

    • The 55 mph speed limit was introduced in 1974, but was enforced more heavily in the 1979-80 energy crisis. It did mean, though, really high powered cars were out for the rest of the seventies and early eighties in America and most American cars were tuned for lower emissions and lower speeds. Still a lot nicer places to be in than British cars of the time as buyers mostly specified their cars with stereo systems, air conditioning, power everything and automatic transmission. OTOH they did often come with some very lurid velour and fake wood interiors.

  113. @ Glenn, your observations match mine! The US cars of that era certainly did have lurid colour interiors. Riding in the US Ford Granada was a treat though, when I normally drove a Viva or Cortina MKIV estate!

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