A few years ago Britain’s car firms were cruising in the industrial fast lane.
Now they are parked on the hard shoulder and fearful about the future.
Investment has plummeted, production is down and more plants are at risk of closure.
Honda has announced plans to close its Swindon works, Ford is shutting its Bridgend engine plant and Nissan has ditched plans to build the new X-Trail model in Sunderland.
This is partly because of the global downturn in the automotive sector, which has been hit by falling demand in China and customers turning their backs on diesels.
It is not all bad news. Jaguar Land Rover and the Mini’s owner BMW are committed to building electric models in this country.
But there is no escaping the impact of Brexit.
The uncertainty over our departure is the main reason why investment has stalled.
This situation is made worse by Boris Johnson’s reckless decision to countenance leaving without a deal.
Such a move would play havoc with supply chains, add 10% tariffs on our car exports to the EU – our largest market – and could force firms to move production overseas.
The car industry desperately needs certainty.
Instead we have a Prime Minister who is gambling with people’s jobs and livelihoods.
He Haz a point
Prince Harry is not afraid of stirring up controversy with his outspoken views.
The prince has suggested he and Meghan will have a maximum of two children as a way of limiting their carbon footprint.
Some will see this as the worst form of virtue signalling from someone who lives in luxury.
Yet Harry has added to the critical debate about how we safeguard our planet – the most pressing issue of our time.
Big slice of pie
Greggs is on a roll after reporting a huge hike in profits.
Thanks to its vegan sausage roll it has claimed an even bigger serving of the market.
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