No deal Brexit fantasists need to wake up to carmakers’ Brexit warnings or risk catastrophic damage to the jewel in the UK’s manufacturing crown, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said today (Tuesday 5 March).

The call came amid warnings from BMW that it could shift production of the Mini and engine work to Europe in the event of a no deal Brexit. Separately Didier Leroy, chairman of Toyota's European operations, said a no-deal outcome to EU withdrawal talks would be “terrible” and would create “big additional challenges” to Toyota’s UK operations' competitiveness.

PSA boss Carlos Tavares meanwhile told ITV News that investment in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant is on hold until the outcome of Brexit is decided.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “BMW, Toyota, Vauxhall and other car makers are deadly serious in their warnings as they instigate contingencies to deal with a hard Brexit.

“Government ministers and ‘no deal’ fantasists need to wake up to those warnings and the catastrophic damage that a no deal Brexit will do to the UK’s world class car industry and the supply chain companies it supports.

“Hundreds of thousands of livelihoods in manufacturing communities across the UK are being imperilled by the government’s Brexit Russian roulette which could result in the iconic Mini joining the Honda Civic in being produced overseas.

“Ministers and MPs must stop gambling with the futures of UK workers and their families. They now must do what is best for the country by taking a no deal, hard Brexit off the table and securing tariff-free, frictionless trade with Europe through a permanent customs union.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 alex.flynn@unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.