Ford warns no-deal Brexit would be ‘catastrophic’

Ford warns no-deal Brexit would be ‘catastrophic’ amid claims the car giant is preparing to shift production out of the UK

  • Prospects of no-deal Brexit seem to be rising amid deadlock between UK and EU
  • The PM was warned in phone call that Ford might shift production out of Britain
  • The car giant said crashing out of the EU without a deal would be ‘catastrophic’  

Ford today warned that leaving the EU without a deal would be ‘catastrophic’ – amid claims the car giant is preparing to move production out of the UK.

The company has added its voice to those sounding the alarm about the prospects of Britain crashing out next month.

The changes of a no-deal outcome appear to be rising with talks in Westminster and Brussels still mired in deadlock.  

Theresa May was reportedly told during a phone call with business leaders last night that Ford is stepping up preparations to shift operations out of the UK.

Ford has added its voice to firms sounding the alarm about the prospects of Britain crashing out next month


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The PM responded that the government was putting together a package of aid for the car industry, according to The Times – but did not spell out what it would include. 

A Ford spokesman stopped short of confirming the details today, but said: ‘We have long urged the UK Government and Parliament to work together to avoid the country leaving the EU on a no-deal, hard-Brexit basis on March 29.

‘Such a situation would be catastrophic for the UK auto industry and Ford’s manufacturing operations in the country.

Efforts to ‘roll over’ EU trade deals ‘will go down to the wire’ 

Trade Secretary Liam Fox has admitted that efforts to ‘roll over’ EU trade deals with third countries in time for Brexit will ‘go down to the wire’.

Internal documents seen by the Sun suggest just six of the 40 deals Britain is seeking to roll over before its March 29 exit will be ready on time.

‘A number of negotiations are at an advanced stage,’ he told MPs. 

‘As with all international negotiations and indeed any negotiations, they will go down to the wire. I would expect nothing different from these agreements – that is the way that countries do business.’ 

‘We will take whatever action is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of our European business.’

The car industry has been delivering increasingly panicked warnings about the impact of a no-deal Brexit, with some firms already cutting back on jobs and production plans.

Nissan said last week it would no longer build its X-Trail car in Sunderland.

Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs in the UK, and Ford could cut about 1,000 jobs, mainly at its Bridgend engine plant.

Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has admitted that efforts to ‘roll over’ EU trade deals with third countries in time for Brexit will ‘go down to the wire’.

Internal documents seen by the Sun suggest just six of the 40 deals Britain is seeking to roll over before its March 29 exit will be ready on time.

‘A number of negotiations are at an advanced stage,’ he told MPs. 

‘As with all international negotiations and indeed any negotiations, they will go down to the wire. I would expect nothing different from these agreements – that is the way that countries do business.’ 

Theresa May (pictured at No10 today) was reportedly told during a phone call with business leaders last night that Ford is stepping up preparations to shift operations out of the UK

 

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