Good news for industrial investment in post Brexit UK

As we are constantly hearing cautionary remarks from trade bodies, from the motor industry and sometimes even from companies like Airbus about their future in the UK as manufacturers, it might be a good time to examine what they are actually doing rather than listening to remarks which become highly spun and negative.

Toyota has announced a £240 million investment at Burnaston and will make its new Auris model there.
Nissan is going ahead with a 20% increase in its production capacity in Sunderland. It is also planning to raise the proportion of UK manufactured components used from 40% to 80%. This is important for rules of origin under WTO rules and is in line with government policy to encourage a higher local sourced percentage.
Aston Martin announced its new factory in St Athan’s before the referendum but has since confirmed it and announced deals with Japan and China to underpin the expansion. That second factory will make a new model.
Airbus has carried on with its investment and said it is still “very highly committed to the UK” whilst also pressing for a close future relationship with the EU
Siemens has announced a £200 million new plant for Goole in Yorkshire to make trains. In December 2016 after the vote it also committed £310 m to a wind turbine blade plant in Hull.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Indeed there are always ways round the daft obstacles that governments endlessly put in the way of productive industry. It would be nice if they did not have to expensively negotiate these lunacies, but such is life.

    May’s speech was, as I expected, another appalling cave in to the EU.

    To summerise it was something like this:- I want to be straight, let me be crystal clear these statements then followed by various vague words that were huge fudges and as clear and mud. This plus the odd appalling cave in here and there to the EU.

    It sounded like a lecture by a primary school teacher aimed at naughty eight year old’s. A tape of it would be useful for insomniacs (perhaps but not ones who might be tempted by suicide though)?

    As JR said on Newsnight (albeit endlessly interrupted by (language graduate) Emily Maitlis):- no deal gives us four of the five things we want:- no fees, control of our own borders, an ability to agree our own trade deals and we can make our own laws. The only thing we do not get is free trade (free exports anyway) to the EU. But free trade is far more of an advantage to them than to the UK as they are a net exporter.

    I would add that the UK could also be far more nimble and quick in agreeing anything on trade than the sclerotic, 27 headed EU who have trouble agreeing anything at all even with themselves.

    If we have to pay fees when exporting to them so be it. We can substitute by switching production to home or other markets or we can pay the fee and then charge then a higher fee on their larger exports.

    The last thing we want to do (as May rather indicated we would) is to stick essentially the EU economic model or their countless damaging and expensive regulations.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Even talk by Theresa May of shared fishing resources!

      • graham1946
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        That’s the big clue. We are going for a big sellout yet again. The Tories have form on this and were/are quite willing to sacrifice a whole industry who they think does not and will not vote Tory anyway to get a deal that suits their big industry donors. Mark my words. As we said from the very beginning a fudge is coming. Mrs. May just does not have the backbone to either demand what we want or to exit on WTO terms, it will all be smudged. We are not even at the table yet and already she has promised twice the money due, 2 years of free movement etc. and now this lot. The Tories are trying to put a positive spin on it but it is a turd that cannot be polished.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–Yes, close to unbelievable–Unfortunately I am not made of stern enough stuff to have stayed and watched the mostly platitudinous drivel she spouted. Her speeches are positively disinspiring if there is such a word.

      • Hope
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        May has said shared fishing! Perhaps business have now cottoned on the U.K. Is remaining in the EU by another name under the false guise that the UK has left the EU but fully regulatory aligned to it for an indefinite period that we should not have noticed. Tory govt have sold the country out on electoral democracy. The big question for JR is now the ballot box has no purpose what should the public do to clear the swamp?

  2. Nig l
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    A flexible and productive workforce and a competitive tax regime. ‘Simple’

    • Hope
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Why does May keep referring to remainers? They lost the vote, as is the case in every election, millions of people at each election, like the last one in the U.K. where it was very close. We voted leave in a fair democratic referendum, accepted by both parties and voted on to accept in parliament. Why is May still trying to fudge what we voted for or delivering it? What country or right minded person would capitulate in the way May did in phase one? No one. Who would allow remainers of every and any persuasion to visit and discuss the issue with the person negotiating on behalf of the country/ body you ar negotiating with? No one. Who would allow negative reports from civil servants, BoE and ministers without any rebuttal? Why no positive message to persuade remainers to change their minds rather than all the negative smears and lies to change the minds of those who won the vote! Come on JR, she is underhand and untrustworthy as we witnessed by phase one. May still wants to proclaim her love for all things EU unconditional support for security, share everything we have, compromise etc. may is a national embarrassment. Oust her now.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I heard some BBC reporter (discussing May’s dreary cave in speech, in generally positive terms) actually saying something like:- no one in business want cuts in government regulations – what sort of business people does this man actually talk too? Bonkers regulations are the bane of most businesses in the UK, push up costs and kill productivity.

    True for a few larger businesses they can sometimes cut out smaller competition and thus enable them to overcharge consumers. But this is far from a good thing for businesses in general, consumers, living standards or the economy in general.

    • Chris
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      I think you would like reading the articles on The Conservative Tree House website about how President Trump is focused on the people rather than the multinationals and the globalists. There are so many parallels with us and the EU as well as clear explanations as to why the globalists have failed us (but mad plenty of money for themselves by completely controlling the market and prices, to the detriment of the consumers, the labour force and nation states).

      See “The Myth of Global Markets Explains Why The DC UniParty View POTUS Trump As a Risk To Their World Order…” on The Conservative Tree House website.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    All welcome and positive news John, and I wonder if they listened to Mrs May’s speech yesterday, and what they thought about it ?

    I had organised my day around listening to it, yes a bit sad I know, but I felt I needed to hear her own words un-spun by anyone else, but instead of feeling inspired, disappointed or even angry, I actually fell asleep for 10 minutes in the middle of it.

    The non stop drone and mantra of closer relationship, friendly relationship with all things EU, with so little detail or real vision forthcoming, actually bored me to sleep.

    No wonder we are drifting, as days, weeks and months pass by.
    No wonder the EU are fed up with us and our Prime Minister as she appears to have little clue as to where she wants to go and how to get there.

    Where was the vision, the passion, the drive, the excitement after the huge build up !

    Aware we all have different ways of doing things, but this is not a sort of leader you would follow into battle is it, she is no big thinking strategist, she appears to be a micromanager of detail, and whilst we certainly need those sort of people in Government, we do not need them holding the highest position.

    A wonderful opportunity wasted, as we are seemingly drifting back towards eventual EU control, and end up getting the worst of both Worlds.

    Think I have said enough.

    • Andy
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      What did you expect ? She doesn’t, nor ever has, believed in Brexit and even yesterday she couldn’t bring herself to say she agreed with the policy WE have instructed her to carry out. No wonder this is a huge mess and the Remainiacs are running rings around her.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Then you missed the bit when she said the Queen is abdicating and the new republic will merge with Germany to become the leading state in the new federal United States of Europe … only joking … #fakenews

      Didn’t you set it to record? I did, for that kind of reason.

    • Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I totally understand why you fell asleep !! I just turned it off for exactly the same reasons…….Yawn !

    • Tom
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps lucky you fell asleep, if you had heard it all you might have wanted to kill yourself.

      “Where was the vision, the passion, the drive, the excitement after the huge build up?”

      Passion, excitement & vision are really May’s forté, but then what is?
      Putting people to sleep, endlessly dithering, sitting on fences, imitating a robot, saying lots of words that mean nothing, making even Corbyn/Mc Donnall look relatively attractive?

    • piglet
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Completely right. The exciting thing about leaving the EU is making the most of all the opportunities this will give us when we are no longer shackled to this dead weight. May, however, sees the task in terms of striking a new partnership with it. Her approach is uninspiring and totally wrong. A Remainer will never deliver a proper Brexit.

    • Chris
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      It is hugely depressing, AJ. Also, it could have been a wonderful opportunity for the UK, but I fear May has blown it. She simply has not got the vision, entrepreneurial spirit, intelligence, competence, and leadership skills to effect Brexit. She is apparently putty in Heywood and Robbins’s hands, and this, together with the fact she is a Remainer, is a recipe for disaster, as it has so proved.

    • Hope
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Why do you assume it was her speech and not approved, edited or partly written by the EU like the Florence speech? He U.K. Is still under the EU control and as such speeches effecting the EU are shown in advance. JR, was it entirely written by her or her staff without any input whatsoever from the EU? The truth please.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      The key elements were : 1.the surrender of challenges to EU citizens rights and all their hangers on being able to come here forever during the transition. Millions more during the non-transition sending child benefits back at our expense ad infinitum.
      2. Agreement that we shouldn’t be allowed to give state aid to our own industries so we cannot look after our own in time of need!
      3. She will sign binding agreements so we follow EU regulations in unspecified manufacturing area’s, no doubt to Germany’s advantage. We will be a supplicant Nation! Taking rules with no say.
      4. She talked of “shared” fishing rights in British waters. Code for EU fishermen will still plunder our waters post Brexit.
      5. She said we will want to be in some bodies within the EU and make some appropriate financial contributions! Is this how they’ll get our future money/free bung with no say?
      Ms May has to go. A remainer in charge was never going to work and she’s has capitulated on………..everything whilst at giving them £40 billion for nothing with £50-60 billion assets thrown in, again for nothing. Good deal??? My 13 year old grandson would ado better and achieve more.
      I think there is collusion by all politicos to stitch us up not just Labour and the Tory remoaners!

  5. Richard1
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Looks like another dismissive reaction from the EU to Theresa May’s speech. Better prepare for WTO.

    • Tom
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, and she has gone way, way too far towards them already.

    • Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Richard1, and perhaps that is why she doesn’t inject any passion into her speeches, and she does rather drone as if she is reading for a speech-training class at secondary school (sorry, grammar school).
      Perhaps this is why the EU is so dismissive and insolent – thinking that there IS no heart for leaving. But if that’s what it takes to leave with ”no deal” then she certainly IS doing a good job!

  6. duncan
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Private sector companies seek investment security and certainty of law so why have these companies chosen to invest their capital in the UK knowing that the UK is on the verge of leaving the EU which may mean some form of trade dispute? Could it be that these companies have been afforded reassurances by the British government that our leaving the EU is leaving the EU in all but name?

    I don’t trust this PM. I never have trusted this PM. Her instincts for social engineering. Her liberal left obsessions are disturbing and her anti-Trump stance is pure virtue signalling of the worst kind. She’s not a Tory but pretends to be one. That type of personality does not generate confidence. It is obvious she’s playing to as many galleries as is humanly possible

    Personally, the UK leaving the EU as always been about sovereign and democratic control of our money, laws and borders. It is the desire to see the UK as a sovereign, independent nation once again, on an equal footing with all other sovereign nations outside of the autocratic EU

    These noted investment plans by the above companies provides enough evidence that the UK is on the verge of not leaving the EU.

    I am certain our constitutional status will in the future be that of a nation that is no longer a sovereign nation but a mere market place for EU exports. The UK’s humiliation will be complete which as been the plan all along

    • Andy
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Don’t you mean ‘illiberal left obsessions’ ?? There is nothing ‘liberal’ in any sense of the word about the Left be it the Fascist or ‘Soft’ Left.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t trust this PM. I never have trusted this PM. Her instincts for social engineering. Her liberal left obsessions are disturbing and her anti-Trump stance is pure virtue signalling of the worst kind. She’s not a Tory but pretends to be one.”

      Me too – I assume she become a Tory MP (rather than a Libdim or Labour one) as they tend to have more pleasant constituencies to live in and are pleasanter people with less of a chip on their shoulders. Also the Libdims rarely win many seats anyway as no one likes their silly policies. The policies May holds too.

    • Chris
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, I agree. I fear that we are going to be so weakened that we will never be able to recover from being a vassal state. It is a disgrace in my mind how Brexit has been blown by this PM (supported by both Remainer and Brexiter MPs).

    • Hope
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Regulatory alignment for an indefinite period with an option to diverge at an unknown point unspecified point decided by a remaining parliament is not leaving the EU. Why did you think Clarke asked about this point to May in parliament this week if not to hold May to account on behalf of the EU. This is remaining in by another name.

      This is not nit picking as JRM calls it in the Telegraph today it is a significant point for an independent nation wishing to trade on whatever terms it wishes. The EU do not want a competitor, with the Firth largest economy, being more competitive than the EU, especially when it leaves. What message would it send to those countries remaining?

  7. stred
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    May’s speech was full of detail in the middle part, as if David Davis had his department write it, with the usual equality political waffle at the beginning and end.

    The obvious statement that UK producers exporting to the EU will have to adopt EU regulations is welcome. The fact that they always have had to comply with regulations from other countries seems to have been forgotten. It was not totally clear that manufacturers would not have to sell EU regulated products in the UK too or whether we just made sure by law that no full power Henrys slipped over the border to S.Ireland. We seem to be even keener to nobble diesel engined cars than they are on the continent, so perhaps we should hope to be able to smuggle one in from there, rather than freeze to death in a snow drift after half an hour.

    By the very end of Theresa’s speech, I had fallen asleep and woke an hour later to hear what I took to be a BBC correspondent in Brussels talking the most ill- informed nonsense imaginable about having to completely accept EU laws without a say and creating a border between N and S Ireland where there had not been one before. When I opened my eyes, it was Sir Clegg of the lost seat. Perhaps he is over there looking for a job for himself and Lady Clegg of Spanish law.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The essential element still missing from the government’s thinking is that the 6% of UK producers who are exporting to the EU should have to adopt EU regulations but the 94% not exporting to the EU should not have to adopt EU regulations. We don’t do this for anybody else but if it would help to reassure the EU we could pass a new law requiring all companies which intend to export to the EU to make sure they are compliant with all EU requirements. We provide the EU with that legal guarantee at present, through our EU Single Market legislation, but that unnecessarily applies to all persons and businesses in the UK.

    • stred
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Reading the speech again, it is clear that the UK will set the same regulatory standards to the same effect but in British law. We will also be a member of the chemical standards authority. This, amongst many other daft EU regulations, we will not be able to sell full powered Dysons and Henrys, farmers will have to abandon glcerophosphate weedkiller because of miniscule cancer links and builders will have to use new paint which yellows or peels off after 3 years.

      In other words, it is a carefully worded sell out dressed up as a demand for independence.

    • Hope
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      But he is right. The U.K. Will have full regulatory alignment without any voice how those regulations ar made. What part did you or JR not understand? What I am surprised about is why JR is accepting it and refusing it as we voted leave and it means if the U.K. trades with any other country it will be on the EU regulatory rules not from the U.K.!

      This is a sell out by May is by any definition straight from the Cameron book of I reformed the EU lie.

  8. agricola
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Well I am pleased to receive their vote of confidence, and hope it is well founded.

    What did you make of the PM’s speech yesterday. My feeling way high on rhetoric but low on substance. Nothing to send us forth with a positive drive to Agincourt. It would seem that everything is left to the grey porridge of negotiation, no doubt punctuated with the derision of both sides to keep us uninformed. I feel no wiser on Saturday morning than I did on Friday morning. There remains plenty of scope for the nay sayers and saboteurs, while the rest of us remain at the bus stop waiting for a bus to be magicked out of nowhere. Joy ,another six months of speculation.

  9. Little Englander
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Well done Britain -we can do this here and EVERYWHERE. Others believe in us otherwise there would be no future continued, major investment rather a ‘swing-away’ elsewhere and building our own trains is perhaps the beginnings of believing in ourselves again. “Taking back control” of our Trade – determining where we trade and whom we trade with is the first step. ‘First’ is not something Trump invented when he declared “America First’ – strong, major economies have been following this for hundreds of years and still do. Germany isn’t bold enough to declare this openly, nor France nor some of the others within the EU but they practice ‘FIRST’ and why not – it’s not something to be ashamed of after all it’s in their National interest to do so. When Major surrendered at Maastricht we lost that – we lost the right to put ‘Britain First’ and we need to re-claim that right and re-invest in ourselves BRITAIN FIRST.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Building our own trains:

      Reading this you may understand the Siemens investment a little better. Not really news and the loss of Bombardier manufacturing is much greater than the new jobs from Siemens, which will be a glorified assembly plant.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink


        This is the problem with you, remainers and the Guardian, you believe your own echo chamber.

        I’ve told you this many times , its about skin in the game.

        This is from The Engineer , you know the people that actually build trains, not 25 year old left wing journalists with no talent and a political bias

        “The UK rail sector is healthier than it has been for decades. David Fowler examines the projects and companies behind this rail renaissance.”

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Thank you, excellent article. My Guardian story was quite old (2011) and this suggests that the UK has entered a wave of fleet modernisation and renewal with at least 4 firms participating. Most of it though, is local manufacturing for a local market, with only the Bombardier plant having an export (non-EU) role. It does not contradict my relarks about the Siemens investment though. That plant will be producing for a domestic market. And it appears to be only the latest (and last, given suggestions in the article about future oversupply) addition to UK train building investment. But definitely not a strong signal that foreign firms have confidence in the UK economy medium term. Those supply contracts date from before brexit.

  10. formula57
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    A most pleasing and encouraging catalogue – but consider what seeing such a lot of good news concisely delivered in one place may do to remoaners. Those not over the edge beforehand may now be pushed over!

    • Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      It is quite baffling how any sane and reasonable person would wish ill on their own country. Surely it should be normal to be GLAD about good news, even if it will come from the result of Brexit, and rejoice in anything that bodes well for us.
      It can’t be normal to wish for failure for our country and suffering for us all, simply in order to be proved right!

  11. sm
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness me, but how are these poor, deluded, naive and long-standing international manufacturers going to ship their parts and their products to and from their factories and their customers if we are no longer clasped to the angelic bosom of Brussels?

    If only those two noble Parsifals, John Major and Tony Blair, bathed in their saintly luminescence, could ride to our rescue!

  12. Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    All great stuff! (Except for the wind turbines. Pity it wasn’t a nuclear power plant. Still lots of work, but with an effective result.)

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      No worries, the French are building one. Will be producing power at twice the rate of wind..

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Rien Huizer

        French energy producing technology has issues:

        French nuclear power in ‘worst situation ever’, says former EDF director
        In the week Britain exports electricity to France for the first time in four years, Gérard Magnin says renewable power will match Hinkley Point C on cost

        The French nuclear industry is in its “worst situation ever” because of a spate of plant closures in France and the complexities it faces with the UK’s Hinkley Point C power station, according to a former Électricité de France director.

        This was an article written in Nov 2016. To my knowledge the situation has still not been adequately addressed:

  13. jerry
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Good news as far as it goes, jobs safe for now, but such decisions are still being made outside of the UK, we are (still) not the masters of our own future.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      There is the issue of cultural Marxism to be tackled in Britain. It used the EU as a front for itself and indeed caused Brexit, our people were mislead as to who was to blame .

      UK cultural Marxism is at the root of all our ills and we will be no better off if we don’t tackle it.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink


      You seem to have a problem re the ownership of publicly quoted companies. It might pay you to research how may overseas companies are owned by “British Companies” . Also the structure, registration and finished products/markets play a large role in profits. Quite frankly though corporation tax on profits is the smallest part of the tax take. ENI, autoenrollment, apprenticeship levy, business rates , income tax from salaries and dividends as well as VAT/duties all remain in the UK and dwarf any CT tax.

      For what its worth there are 5.6 million businesses trading in the UK, 24,145 are owned by foreign companies/investors

      The ONS found that foreign-owned businesses contributed £333.7bn in approximate gross value added, turning over £1.26 trillion. Gross value added is a productivity measure that tallies up the net value of goods and services produced.

      US-based companies owned more UK businesses than those from any other country, British companies supported over one million jobs (1,029,700) across America, nearly a quarter of which (250,800) were in manufacturing. The UK also remains the largest foreign investor in the US manufacturing sector, investing $180 billion in 2014.

      • jerry
        Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; I have no problem about ownership, I have a problem with (re)investment decisions being made outside of the UK by multi-national companies or individuals who do not necessarily have the best interests of the UK at heart nut their own.

        It is not the number of companies owned, but the number employed by them, together with their (strategic) importance to the UK economy that matters. You really think that ‘national(istic)’ considerations never enter the equation when investment or rationalisation decisions have to be made, especially when redundancy can be more problematic (expensive) for the company in their own country than it is here in the UK, as a capitalist would you spend more or less on redundancy – all other issues being equal or less important?

        It is quite shocking that I seem to have more in common with economic views of President Trump than you Walter, when all said and done, you the hard capitalist business man(?), me a ‘post-war consensus’, mixed economy, centrist!

  14. rose
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this and thank you for overriding the Newsnight interruptions last night. Boris must learn how to do that too.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, I’m ashamed to say women news readers are the worst for this, never allowing a person, especially a male they don’t agree with speak, this should be measured and checked and their employer should agree standards of fairness with them.

      • rose
        Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        I am afraid fairness is not on the agenda. Nor is the quest for knowledge. They want to be able to take words out of context later, and traduce the speaker. It is a well developed technique and a loathsome one.

        Gove’s “The British people have had enough of experts from organizations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong”

        And now Boris’s illustrative allusion to the London congestion borders, are both examples of the countless messages which have been interrupted mid sentence and then misrepresented ad nauseum.

        • rose
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          sorry, ad nauseam.

    • Dimwit
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Newsnight. Poor lighting to cover up the bags under presenters’ eyes. Interruptions to keep you off dwelling on the poor lighting. Paxman was Newsnight, let’s be perfectly clear, as Mrs May says every other sentence

  15. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Perhaps add to your list the numerous motorcycle manufacturers, both British and foreign, investing in UK facilities.

  16. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    You should have mentioned that both Toyota and Nissan have made their plans conditional (wording public in Toyota’s case, confidential in Nissan/Renault’s). Anyway these amounts are small by motor industry standards. retooling for a new model is hardly greenfield investment. Vauxhalls, Transit vans and Mini’s are still open.

    The Siemens investment is for the UK domestic market (trains and turbine blades) and will probably entail little engineering. All in all not a lot worth mentioning as a vote of confidence in the uncertain characteritics of the UK’s future trading arrangements.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      As a Leaver another good (and unsettling) comment from Rien Huizer.

      Other Europhiles please note. This is the way to get our respect – leave the insults at the door.

      • acorn
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Trouble is he is not wrong. The values JR mentions are peanuts in the UK FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) account; and its part in the UK Balance of Payments.

        It is worth having a read of

        You need to get your brain around the difference between FDI assets and credits, and FDI liabilities and debits.

        Having a large current account deficit means we get to play with goods that we don’t make ourselves; they are a benefit and a joy to UK households. At the same time we are importing other countries potential unemployment; and, we are exporting loads of our currency to those foreign countries in exchange.

        As long as those foreigners are prepared to keep taking and saving Pounds Sterling, no problem. If Sterling weakens and makes their exports to us more expensive, exporters’ own central banks, can buy-up Sterling, to raise its FX value, so the UK can keep affording their exports, and their workers / voters, stay in work.

        But; if they lose faith in Sterling assets (cash; bonds; car factories and unoccupied Chelsea mansions …?

    • Lighthouse
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Rien Huizer.
      Only someone who knows they have almost lost but for the shouting would venture onto a foreign website blog and attempt to make “a drowning man grasping at a straw” case for staying in the EU. You know,
      even if you are 100% correct….we are leaving, full stop. Quite simply, “It’s democracy stupid!” If WE have voted incorrectly then WE are to blame. Making mistakes enriches our national spirit just as much if not more than the opposite. The end result is that we are Kings and Queens of our Destiny. Freedom is dangerous. But it is the path WE choose. The EU nation-states can whimper their way into collective Whimperingdom.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        You do not understand where I am coming from. I believe the UK does not belong in the EU. That does not mean that I think the British schould not be trying to get as close as possible because life outside the EU may be more difficult than within. Clearly, If I were English, I would have voted remain. But I am not, so this is merely out of interest in a unique political event.

        • David Price
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

          Your commentary on the blog belies your claim to be “merely interested”. Like many of the remain mould you see only problems, seek only to make them worse and clearly take joy in any disadvantage for the UK.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        Maybe I have not been clear: imo the UK (as it is, culturally and politically) does not belong in the EU club. That it did not walk out earlier has many reasons but this time the governing class has failed to bridge those gaps and hence, the UK (or rather England, the rest is not as averse to cooperation) must go, I do not see any way to stay in or even go back. Two reasons: politics and culture of England,especially the older generation -and the FPTP system does not help- and second, the EU leaders would think twice to tahe the UK back after all this display of exceptionslism.

        Do I think it is a good idea for the EU to leave, or rather to not adapt to community membership? No it is anachronistic and probably economically harmful.

        Why my interest? Thisd is a unique political and economic phenomenon and some friends and Iare glad to have the time to watch how things unfold. It helps to have an English degree and friends living there, in addition to a very long work relationship with this strange country.

        • NickC
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          Rien, The EU isn’t about “cooperation” it’s about subjugation. That’s why the rules are made in Brussels. And that applies to you, as much as us. Don’t come whining to us again when your latest centralising European empire ideology comes unstuck. Haven’t you learned yet?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Rien Huizer

          It is a shame you are not also giving us your intellectual overview of Dutch politics and in particular how our real friend Geert Wilders is fairing, which would be more interesting?

          You remind me of the fellow in “The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists – Novel by Robert Tressell” who sits on the edge of British working-class life, observing with some sort of superior indulgence?

          Incidentally, an English Degree is interesting and in some cases of benefit, but it is somewhat less useful than productive training such as Engineering, with its associated necessary educational rigours…but I guess it helps you to better understand the British mentality somewhat?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Rien Huizer

      Good comment.

      In actuality, all this political posturing with the “good news manufacturing piffle”, regarding what overseas companies will/may/could/might do, is missing the point.

      If Britain becomes wholly reliant on foreign manufacturing investment, Britain’s homegrown manufacturing base will die on the vine through lack of investment…which means the Government will be beholding to overseas investors and manufacturing big business, not to mention the Banks. I don’t need to spell out the dangers this will bring to all of us. Effectively making the UK a pure consumer nation rather than a significant homegrown manufacturing self-reliant nation!

      Overseas investment may work out well in the short term, but in the long-term, we/UK Government will be highly dependent on the Global elite’s bidding! QED

      Or as Mr Junker would have it. “Game Set and Match”

  17. PlanningAhead
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    All very well JR..but could you please tell us how things are going at the WTO Geneva UK desk..we have not heard a word lately about how preparations are going on this front and we have only twelve months to go..Isn’t this Liam Fox’s brief??- I thought we would have heard a lot more from him about this at his recent speech?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Have you heard anything about the EU updating its own schedules from 2004 when it had only fifteen member states?

      I’d be interested in whether there has been any progress on that.

      Somehow the technical invalidity of the EU’s schedules at the WTO does not seem to have brought trade to a halt during the past fifteen years or so.

      • acorn
        Posted March 4, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        UPDATE: on October 17, 2017, the EU circulated revised goods “schedules” for all its 28 members. If no WTO member objects these could be certified in three months. Apart from accounting for the expansion to 28, the revisions include other modifications, including ending agricultural export subsidies.

        For the first time since the WTO was set up in 1995, the EU will then be up-to-date with its goods schedules (but not services), until the UK leaves.

        The documents using code number G/MA/TAR/RS/506 are visibly listed on the WTO website but remain unavailable to the public until they are certified. From here on to Brexit day, “Trade β Blog Trying out ideas on trade and more”, has some good technical explanations.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for that, noted.

          Presumably it was possible for world trade in goods to resume on January 17th 2018 after 23 years during which the EU schedules were invalid, but trade in services remains paralysed …

  18. Bob
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The EU is overplaying it’s hand encouraged by the perpetually conciliatory stance of the British govt and its coterie of EU supporters.

  19. Adam
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Freedom enables opportunity. Others will follow these vanguards.

    Those who assess Theresa May’s Mansion House speech will realise the substance driving toward better.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Post Brexit home production will feature more strongly than before . The car industry and its suppliers will expand at the expense of German and French imports with pricing as well as reliability at the bottom of it all . These changes will also encourage more of the young to seek their futures in the manufacturing sector ; apprenticeships will be more popular .

    The speech yesterday should have included the proviso that if the EU do not show a willingness to come to a realistic deal then we will have to walk away ; such a fearless addition would have expressed a determination that was not subject to mis-understanding . Certainly – as a fervent Brexiteer , I would have been more satisfied .

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Home production? Import substitution? What about free trade? Are you against free trade?

      • NickC
        Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Clearly the EU is against free trade. What’s your point?

  21. duncan
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    This is what Toyota stated in 2016:

    ‘we are concerned that leaving [the EU] would create additional business challenges. As a result we believe continued British membership of the EU is best for our operations and their long-term competitiveness’

    And now we see Toyota announcing an increase in their investment in the UK car sector.

    The UK will not leave the EU in the way we understand that to mean

    Ignore opinion on Brexit especially from this PM. She’s not too be trusted. Focus on actions. The investment decisions taken this week by Toyota and others tell me that the UK will not leave the EU and that we will be constitutionally connected to this political entity for decades to come

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      You may have noted that Toyata’s investment is conditional upon material continuity of its trading environment. From the company’s own website:

      ““As a company, we are doing what we can to secure the competitiveness of our UK operations as a leading manufacturing centre for our European business. With around 85% of our UK vehicle production exported to European markets, continued free and frictionless trade between the UK and Europe will be vital for future success.”

      Toyota’s European HQ is in Brussels.

    • stred
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Listening to Angela Brown, a labour politician who the BBC seems to invite on whenever Brexit is discussed, and JRM on R4 this morning while escaping from IKEA, she trotted out the same point about parts for cars crossing the channel 3 times before being exported to our friends in the EU. JRM, as usual, said that the components are not subject to tariffs. He could have also said that, when large numbers of bits are transported around the world, the electronic or actual paperwork is reproduced many times to follow the accounts and it would be very simple and inexpensive to repeat the paperwork as many times as the batches of components. Possibly, the French would try to open every crate and look at the same parts, but if they did so, we could do the same to their bits and hold them up too. They would then stop messing around. But you can bet that the Remoaners will keep repeating the lie over and over. That is what the establishment plotters have been trained to do, believing rightly that the lie will be accepted if it is told often enough.

    • Hope
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Regulatory alignment for an indefinite period is a bit of a clue that the U.K. is kept to heal by the EU without any say how those regulations are made. There might be a chance of divergence at some possibl time in the future. That is of course putting your trust in parliament not to incrementally tie us further back to the EU without he public knowing.

  22. Andy
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    No review of Mrs May’s speech?

    The one in which she spelt out clearly what your Brexit vision means?

    A poorer Britain.

    A more divided Britain.

    Trade barriers.

    A loss of passporting.

    No extra money for the NHS.

    No cut in regulation – in fact maybe even MORE regulation.

    Subservience to the EU in chemicals, medicines, aviation.

    A vassal state.

    Well done, Mr Redwood. Well done.

    It now falls on my generation to kill off this dead Brexit. Which we will.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Agree and disagree.
      A vassal state is what we’ve become as members of the EU.
      You might like to add to your list no reduction in net immigration – inept government will see to that.
      As regards a poorer Britain, that depends on individual enterprise. Make sure you are one of the winners, and if you can draw others into your prosperity, so much the better.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      The most important thing for refurbished Kremlinologists is that there were no specifics. Meaning that she is still navigating in “raft” fashion, with the current. That will bring her somewhere. Probably in a place that will demand emergency measures. In all likelyhood that will mean a second referendum. That refendum will de solely for British and Irish people between 16 and 45 plus British expats living in Europe and qualified other EU citizens with ties to the UK.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      You better hope more than the 36% of your generation that bothered to vote in the referendum do anything about leaving in the future.
      For all you know all those youngsters who failed to vote might well be leave supoorters.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      That’s odd I listened to the speech & didn’t hear her say any of those things. Would you like to post references, or have you just made it up?

    • A Briton
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Andy: Emmigrate mate – your time has passed

    • Robert Betteridge
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure the EU can do better than the current 1.4 million paragraphs of MifID 2, Moses managed with 10 commandments, we added one more “Don’t frighten the Horses”

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


      We must assume your generation is still in its teens then….it would certainly answer some questions regarding your previous comments?

      • Andy
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m 44. I know nobody of my age or younger who will ever vote Tory again.

        Oh – and me and my wife should be Conservatives.

        Good jobs, high taxes, expensive home, kids at private school.

        Yet – we will never vote for them ever.

        The Tories have an existential crisis coming on – and they’ve not realised.

        • stred
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          44! You write like a 24 year old. You will be a pensioner before you know it. Only 21 years to survive outside the EU. It will flash by, especially if the Marx brothers get in.

        • NickC
          Posted March 4, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Andy, As you insist on selling out your country to a foreign power, you were never going to vote Tory. Or UKIP.

    • Lighthouse
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      You can’t kill it off because you will have starved to death because of high food prices, frozen to death because Brexit brings you high fuel bills and dead of drought because Brexit stops the rain falling from the sky.
      Education is wasted on the young.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Andy, don’t forge to kill off all the pensioners too!

  23. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Amazing how we never hear much good news like this from the BBC. Just constant doom and gloom and lots of news about companies closing. No wonder half of the UK are on anti- depressants.

  24. Epikouros
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Regardless of the fact that there is no reason to believe Brexit would in any way harm the UK’s economy or manufacturing and industrial base and that in fact it would be considerably enhanced. However I believed others were not of the same mind, remainiacs; the CBI, the BBC, the Guardian, left wing and socialist nationalist governments and political parties and many others came forward to to announce that armageddon would be visited upon the UK if we leave. That propaganda alone despite them not producing any evidence to back up their claims (as there will be none until well after the event)I thought would be sufficient to deter investment and undermine confidence.

    To my surprise the opposite has proven to be the case even producers who would fall within the CBI’s sphere of influence are pouring in money to the UK. I am sure these captains of industry are not fools and will have calculated wisely before committing to increasing investment even with Brexit looming and have come to the conclusion that Brexit is not harmful and indeed will be beneficial. The EU and remainiacs should take note of their actions because they drive a horse and cart through their case to not leave the EU or leave under EU terms.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I well recall the grim warnings from the likes of Tony Blair and Michael Heseltine that if we didn’t join the euro then we would lose out on foreign investment.

    That didn’t happen, in fact we carried on getting masses of foreign investment.

    Some of us had reservations about the long term consequences of so much UK business being bought up by foreign companies, but the fact is that these veteran eurofederalists were totally wrong then about the euro and they have zero credibility now for predicting what will happen after we leave the EU.

    Yet it appears the unsubstantiated idea that we will lose foreign investment once we have left the EU is one of the factors being used in the Treasury and other doomsaying models to deliberately amplify the potential economic losses from leaving the EU.

    As far as the EU Commission is concerned the benefits of the EU Single Market are only around 2% of the collective GDP of the EU member states, and the benefit may be only half that average for the UK; and that is the gross benefit, before taking into account the costs of the Single Market which the Commission has estimated could be over 5% of GDP, and for us also the cost of our net contribution to the EU budget.

    But the models which are deliberately designed to give pessimistic Brexit forecasts which Remoaners can then quote as gospel not only ignore those costs, they also assume that foreign investment will fall dramatically after we leave the EU – the same unsubstantiated prediction made by supporters of the euro, which proved to be false – and that is part of the way that they get from a small GDP loss, or maybe even a small GDP gain, to a more significant loss of 8% or more.

    “”Here is another paper in that series, from March 2016 …

    “In the long run, reduced trade lowers productivity. Factoring in these effects substantially increases the costs of Brexit … ”

    And the predicted loss immediately jumps fourfold from a marginal 1 % or 2% of GDP to a more significant 6.3% or 9.5% of GDP.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Oh yes, I recall this from 1999:

      “Tory heavyweights join Blair for launch of Britain in Europe campaign”

      “Conservative splits deepen as cross-party euro crusade begins”

      [Note that word “crusade”.]

      “Prime minister Tony Blair and leading Conservatives today joined forces in launching a high-powered campaign to prepare Britain for the euro by underlining the economic benefits of the European Union.

      The Britain in Europe campaign, unveiled at the new Imax cinema near Waterloo, brought together an unusual coalition. It put on the same platform Mr Blair, Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal-Democrats, and leading Tories Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke.

      Seeking to infuse the event with a sense of historic occasion, Mr Blair said: “Once in each generation, the case for Britain in Europe needs to be remade, from first principles. The time for this generation is now.” …”

      “Once in generation”, Tony, not once every few years.

      These people are utterly shameless.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 3, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Just for amusement:

        “Tony Blair Institute for Global Change created a poll.
        23 February at 09:00

        Which Brexit option do you want the Government to choose? Please vote in our poll:

        66% To leave at whatever cost
        34% To stay and re-think

        This poll has ended. 174.6k Votes”

  26. Shieldsman
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    “A Border Too Far”
    In interfering in our Sovereignty and internal politics is Barnier and Commissioner Federica Mogherini asking for the impossible on behalf of Leo Varadkar?
    Would the mixed up and confused Jeremy Corbyn agree to move the Border to the Irish Sea, as he stands little chance of obtaining his selective cherry picking Customs Union.

    A question for Blair and Clegg who is endangering the ‘Good Friday Agreement’? Could it be the only person, Barnier on behalf the EU wanting an EU/UK border on the island of Ireland?

    Why not ask all the people of Northern Ireland what sort of border they want with the Irish Republic, do they want to be cut off from the rest of the UK?
    The Social Democratic and Labour Party, Ulster Unionist Party, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Democratic Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice, may all have different views from that expressed on EU membership.
    That is democracy messrs. Blair and Clegg.

    Failure to hand down a legal agreement on the Irish border forces the British Government into the WTO only situation.

  27. Chris
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I just wish that May could have given the EU ‘negotiators’ (LOL) some reasons to get off their bloated complacent 4r53s and start to behave like negotiators and not just sniggering bully boys. She may have cared to repeat ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ a few times, but having to keep one eye on the treacherous remainers in her party may have precluded such confrontational language. On the other side the aforesaid EU clowns Verhofstadt and Barnier side do not they have to moderate their language at all, even though the 27 are much less cohesive than they would like us to believe, may be even more fractured than the Labour party. Switzerland has been warned by EU not to start negotiating a trade deal with UK, which has put their nose out, they are already very upset by EU over other matters.

  28. Robert Betteridge
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    We could do considerably more, as do other EU Nations, to limit unskilled workers, why aren’t we? Especially since we appear to have opened the gates to them for another couple of years if not more.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      I know of no legislation that any EU country has introduced to ‘limit unskilled workers’ from other EU countries. Such an attempt to override the free movement provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon would be immediately challenged at the ECJ by the Brussels Commission.

  29. Dennis Zoff
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


    This is all very good in the short to medium term….but what is really needed is the establishment of real British owned companies returning to manufacturing…else all manufacturing will be solely owned by foreign companies, which is highly detrimental longer term?

    No point in Britain becoming a manufacturing proxy for foreign companies, at the expense of continual homegrown manufacturing decline!

  30. Dennis Zoff
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Bungling May’s legacy will be that of a truly divided Britain.

    The good news, however, is that the 17+ Million will be seeking a new leader that can actually deliver Brexit for them….it just will not be the Tories or Labour, but a new Party?

    • Prigger
      Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I personally appreciate your sentiment,new Party and all, I cannot accept our nation is divided. “Division” is the toast of Parliamentarians especially from the more flowery who shout it as if microphones and loudspeakers were of the 30th Century, usually scolding those from a clichéd “sedentary position ” he means sat down. We are not divided just wishing Mrs May to “get on with it”. ..and flowery people banned from wasting Parliament’s time and tax-payers money even if they are stuck up at the front or side or whatever you call it, but stuck up for sure.

  31. Colin Hart
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I do not trust Mrs May because she does not trust herself. She does not think for herself and everything she says is what she is told to say or has been written down for her to say. She is an empty, rudderless vessel.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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