It is not easy to contemplate the loss of jobs and hardship to families from that or enormous outflow of capital because of an ideological stance by one party about leaving the EU. I was listening to the radio today and Terry Christian was saying that if bosses have to sack people after Brexit then they should start with Leavers
The manufacturer of Honda cars at Swindon is equivalent to 10% of all cars manufactured/assembled in the UK. In 2018 the UK made 1.5 million cars (down from 2016 when they produced 1.7 million). Similarly, investment in the car industry in 2013 was at £5.83 billion, and in 2018 it was £590 million. Unfortunately, it is also estimated that another 3000 to 4000 jobs will also be lost through the supply chain. Nissan is not going to make its electric model in Sunderland, 4,500 jobs are at risk with Land Rover, Ford has put hundreds of jobs at risk as has BMW.
The University of Sussex has estimated that a no deal Brexit will lead to an estimated 750,000 jobs and the areas that will be hit the hardest is London with 150,000 positions lost.
What is happening in other industrial areas. EY (Chartered Accountants) has been monitoring 222 companies, and 75 of them have stated there are looking to move their operations from the UK to Europe. The EY report stated that at least £800 billion ($1 Trillion) worth of assets is relocating out of the UK to Europe. Nomura (once it was said of them, that they are so big they can buy BT from petty cash) and Daiwa are looking to move to Germany. Lloyds of London confirmed that in May they had received regulatory approval to establish an insurance company in Brussels. Panasonic is moving its HQ to the Netherlands. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that trade with Europe are looking to set up European outposts.
Depressingly, to name a few more companies looking to establish their operations in Europe: EasyJet, Diageo (owners of Smirnoff, Guinness and Baileys), Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft and Barclay’s (the bank is expanding operations in Ireland). In food retail, they are more concerned with logistics and exchange rates.
There is a widespread concern with access to Labour that will impact for example NHS, hospitability and construction industries. However, companies like Rio Tinto and BP will not be affected as their activities take place outside of the UK.
Is Terry Christian right?
The answer must be no. We have a divided country at the moment, and the last thing we want is more fuel to the fire. Whatever happens, we must come together – we have the Tories who seem to be looking at this through rose tinted glasses and the Labour party that is unable to persuade its MPs let alone the nation. The real fear going forward is not only job losses but the poor national political leadership from the Tories and Labour.
* Tahir Maher is the Wednesday editor and a member of the LDV editorial team