Honda VP Europe confirms “This is not a Brexit related issue”

I am deleting contributions  to the site  that wrongly ascribe the planned closure of Honda Swindon to Brexit given the very clear statements made by Honda that is about other matters. I will comment in more detail tomorrow.

The workforce at Swindon is skilled and capable, and I wish to see the government and Council offer all the help they can to ensure that in the run up to closure good jobs are found to replace the lost Honda jobs.

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109 Comments

  1. Leonard Chershire
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Quite right sir! Sony, Dyson, Panasonic, Lloyds, Unilever, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Airbus, Flybmi, P&O Ferries, HSBC, JP Morgan, UBS, Ford, Hitachi, Toshiba, AXA, Moneygram, Philips, the European Banking Authority, the European Medicines Agency, Bank of America and now Honda. All totally unconnected to Brexit.

    Reply So can we thank Brexit for Apple, Google, Amazon and all the others making large investments here and recruiting many staff? Jobs well up since the vote.

    • jerry
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      @Leonard Chershire; If you care to look beyond the headlines, beyond the corporate excuses yes you will find that Brexit plays a zero or very small part of the story. Heck even Sky News (far worse europhiles than the BBC is) can’t spin the Honda story!

      Even the reported official reason, “unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry” doesn’t stack up, it makes no difference to the production line what ‘engine package’ they install, be it petrol, diesel or electric, no as I said in another comment on this (under the article about the Labour party woes) this closure is far more likely the result of the EU-Japan FTA, in other words it would have happened with or without Brexit.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      the actual number of jobs moved so far is minimal. a few hundred in the financial sector have been trumpeted, no doubt to appease EU protectionist regulators. Whether they stay there and how the UK & EU perform relatively in future years for jobs growth will of course depend on future policy and on economic and market circs.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        @Richard1

        It is much too early to judge the impact of brexit, especially since very few people believe that there will be a no deal outcome.

        As to the few hundred and the apparent evidence coming from the employment numbers, that is largely irrevant, exactly because of the fact that there is no brexit yet, just the potential (some might say: promise, others: threat). What is certain that the EMA and its large ecosystem of pharma research and pharma business lobbying are now being moved to Amsterdam. That will of course not mean hundreds of thousand of jobs, but a poetical metaphor about business networks , “ecosystem” would in this case consider the EMA one of those very tall trees in the rainforest. Take the tree out and the ecosystem around it will change, even disappear. Brexit will lead to this type of deforestation in industries with a high dependence on EU funds, EU access for products and UK access for EU citizens.

        Given the fact that policymakers consider “no deal” a contingency but not a probability, the official probability on both sides of the North Sea is that there will be a transition period, followed by deal with as little change to the status quo as possible within the (rather ambiguous) referendum outcome.

        So save your cheer for a little longer, I would say.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Having totally failed with your prediction of doom for immediately after the vote day you now move doomsday further into the future.
          Hilarious.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      A more likely thing to put people off investment in the UK is Socialist May’s gross incompetence giving us the highest taxes for 40 years, endless increases red tape and admin costs for business, constant project fear from Carney, Soubry, Grieve, Clarke x2 and Hammond types, incompetent Brexit negotiations and above all the very real prospect of Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP disaster. Hopefully now a risk declining a little as it breaks up.

      Let us hope the sensible wing of the Tories can capture the Party from the daft remainer socialists currently in charge without it breaking up much. The country is crying out for far less government and lower taxes.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        The legislative drive (by the EU) to electrification is premature and largely misguided. Electric cars are not zero emmision at all they just move the emmisions to the power stations and manufacturing plants. They can indeed be rather less environmental.

        Also often rather lighter and more dangerous. Often meaning you need a second car for the longer trips and holidays.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Unilever scraps Dutch relocation plan. Unilever, which makes Marmite and Dove soap, has scrapped its plan to move its headquarters to the Netherlands after growing criticism from investors.
      Ford moved Transit production to Turkey more than 10 years ago to the best of my recollection. Long before UKIP frightened David Cameron into giving us a referendum.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        @ John Hatfield

        That is very old news. Unilever has had dual head offices (with the benefit of a large listing on the LSE and benefiting of Dutch tax treaties) and wanted to concentrate in one of these two locations. That has been postponed (already in October 2018) and it is likely corporate restructuring will shrink the Unilever business in Holland (the businesses will remain under new owners) so the rationale for moving to Rotterdam with all of the HQ activities may disappear. The outcome of that process is uncertain. Homework can be useful.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      They like it here as they seem able to get away without paying proper taxes.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        They actually pay plenty of taxes and pay what is legally due. The government after all fix and enforce these tax laws. You can hardly blame the companies for not wanting to pay more than they have to. This as they have to compete with other companies and would put themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage if they did.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Lenny boy

      Half the companies in your list haven’t gone anywhere and indeed Goldman Sachs has just spent billion on a new City London HQ .

      Typical remainer horse****

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Lot of banks in there who I seem to remember are such dynamic businesses they needed a load of state aid to stop them going bust a few years back. While Sir James Dyson sez its only a handful of his employees that are being Shanghai’d over to Singapore. With regard to the ferries try booking a trip, demand is still there. Punters in the real world do not believe your tripe and still want a holiday regardless.

  2. oldtimer
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Honda have previously stated (c 2 years ago) their intention to consolidate Civic production in Japan. The Swindon plant is operating at only 50 to 60% capacity and is probably uneconomic at such levels. It is a sad day for those employed there but the fact remains that there is overcapacity in the industry. Globally there have been several closures announced already; there will be more to come.

    • Newmania
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Yes but there are always stresses on any business , this is what we tried to explain again and again. Business is dynamic and if you make yourself the worst place to export to Europe in Europe it doesn’t matter much how much money is lost , no one chooses to lose money and its hard enough already.
      Honda has been there since 1989, and last autumn said it was still staying , regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations …come on wake up.
      If you choose to regard their wish to stay out of politics as more than that fine , it will not hep the people you dumped on the scrap heap

      • oldtimer
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        The statement by the Honda CEO was quite specific. It is consolidating manufacturing close to its main markets. Europe is not one of them; they are in Japan, China and USA. Their next generation will be electrified one way or another. Honda like every other auto maker has no idea about the take up of such vehicles. The odds are that overall demand for new cars will drop as buyers wait and see and keep older models for longer. I add that I did not “dump (Honda) people on the scrap heap” as you offensively suggest.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Did you read what Honda actually said?
        Now the EU and UK is openly hostile to petrol and diesel engined vehicles and major cities are introducing keep out zones Honda has made its decision to sell to the growing Far Eastern markets.

        • nigel
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          The final nail was probably the announcement by Gove who was in such a rush to prove his “Green Credential” by introducing more green stupidity in banning the use of diesel engines from 2040. He was in such a rush to garner some personal publicity that I doubt very much that he ever stopped to consider the effect of his announcement on the investment plans of the major motor manufacturers in this country, especially Honda who have no doubt invested a great deal of money in the production facilities for their very successful small diesel engines and received £Zero in government subsidies to do so.

          The Honda news is being raked over perpetually by the BBC but, true to form, no single criticism of Gove so nothing new there.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        I’d be more convinced if the Swindon factory was being moved to the EU.

      • David Price
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:31 am | Permalink

        @Newmania, You remainers have tried to do no such thing. A major factor that damages business is uncertainty and you remainers inside and outside the establishment have done your best to ramp up and prolong the uncertainty beyond reason.

        You haven’t given a fig for the people dumped on the scrap heap in the past by transfers of business to EU ownership and EU relocation and you don’t give a fig now. This people in Swindon are just numbers to you and yet another excuse to wail against a majority decision that didn’t go your way.

        • Newmania
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          You cannot know this but you are wrong .There may be remain folk like that but I am not one of them .
          I have experienced what real unemployment is .
          Its not when you are between shelf stacking gigs , it is when your industry disappears leaving you unqualified middle aged with a family to support and no help from anyone . I know all too well how empty to days hand wringing is and how little anyone really cares .
          Only you can drag yourself back into the work place and it is a desperate time which may go on for some years

          I know how it feels and it informs everything I say about Brexit , it is teh core of my loathing for the whole careless stupid selfish mess

          • Edward2
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            Why did this happen whilst we were in the EU?

          • David Price
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

            Many have experienced unemployment, much of it facilitated by the dirigist EU in it’s redistribution of funds, resources, economic activity and people. Yet you vent at and slander those of us who chose to take back control of those things and our destiny and not those who support the EU who engineered the circumstances that have caused this outcome.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Newmania

        What you say about the stresses and strains of business is quite true. The mistake you and others make is to assume that selling goods AND services to EU countries is seamless….. It isn’t .

        Oh and as you point out Honda was here long before the single market came into existence. You can wish it were true all you like but then you would have to explain why US car firms are going through the same issues of restructuring to cope with Green policies, emissions policies, war on diesel and the rush to move to electric

    • NickC
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, We can help a home car industry by using a 10% tariff on imported cars. It is the same tariff that the EU uses so there should be no complaints from the Remains, or the EU.

  3. rick hamilton
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Some reports said the decision was to do with the EU-Japan trade deal which has just come into effect. It eliminates the 10% import duty on Japanese cars – but takes 8 years to reach zero. The time would come when the duty would be a less significant factor in sourcing decisions than the pound/ euro exchange rate.

    Of course there has been zero duty on imports of all foreign cars into Japan for a very long time. But it will take 16 years for them to eliminate their high tariffs on EU cheese !

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Honda is already selling cars in the EU that are made in Japan (the Jazz) and Canada (the new CRV). It is selling cars made in Japan, US and Thailand in Australia, as does Toyota, based on similarly structured deals. Transport is cheap. Besides, the German luxury brands benefit from surplus shipping capacity on the return leg to NA and Asia. Australia does not have that luxury. A visit to the car shipping terminal in Rotterdam would be very instructive for anyone looking at local production.

  4. Brigham
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    It shows how much the antiBrexiteers hate Britain, the way they are delighted by the Honda news. The fact that Honda is closing because of world trade problems will never get in the way of a chance to destroy democracy.

    • Newmania
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      So now you care about people`s jobs ? When did that start ?

      • NickC
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Newmania, When we voted Leave. Or, strictly, some years before as we saw our nation brought down by the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:57 am | Permalink

        Of course we care about peoples’ jobs. This is why we want lower taxes, far less red tape, cheaper energy, leaving the EU and a restitution of real UK based democracy. Also to avoid Corbyn’s Venezuela vision for the UK.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      @ Brigham

      Not news, this I have been indicating for a long time that Honda would be first and able to state less offensive, “non–brexit” motives. There is nothing the UK government can do about this, though. Two thirds of UK car production capacity is Japanese and Honda’s logic applies to all of them, be it a little less for Nissan. On the other hand, the Nissan-Renault combination has many more options to relocate their plant in Europe or produce in Japan/Canada. They are building a plant in Slovakia (where a substantial number of migrant workers in Sunderland are from, incidentally). So do not expect anything from Nissan before the middle of next year, assuming a transition period. No deal would of course precipitate things.

      For most UK produces cars outside specialty/luxury brands (JLR etc) there is no market outside EU/UK envisaged by their corporate HQs. The market is crowded enough and UK savings are the lowest hanging fruit.

    • NickC
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Brigham, Andy says it’s ok to lie, so long as we stay in the EU.

  5. Wiltshire Boy
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The only help we need is the cancellation of Brexit. We can deal with those who advocated Brexit without having the first idea of its effect on just-in-time production lines later

    • Noneoftheabove
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Please, give it a rest. Around half the electorate are disappointed after every GE, I respect your right to be disappointed but you should not allow it to let you talk rubbish. I worked for many years in the logistics of ‘just in time’ deliveries. All would arrive between 12 & 24 hrs before needed.
      If you are worried about a delivery ETA, just order it a little earlier.

    • rose
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Components don’t have to be made across Europe with lorries driving all over the continent causing pollution. They could and should be made in the West Midlands. The skill is there. The willingness is there. And the work ethic is there..

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Well Said!

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      10 years ago when Arch Remainer Yvette Cooper was Chief Secretary to the Treasury the economy shrank by 8% and the deficit ballooned to 10%.

      Was that due to Brexit?

    • notinmyname
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      “without having the first idea of its effect on just-in-time production lines”.

      What, like you?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      You want to close the whole country?

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Well WB, according to the mayor of Calais, none at all. Unless you think there will be problems on our side.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Brexit will have no effect on just-in-time production – I’ve worked in relevant industries, I doubt you’d even heard the phrase before the last year. The EU-Japan FTA means there is no need at all for Japanesr car makers to maintain manufacturing facilities anywhere in the EU, that’s why they’re not moving production of new cars to the EU but rather to Japan. Also Swindon makes diesel cars which the EU and our own government want us to stop buying, hence there is no need to make them.

    • Zorro
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      How do we manage components for JIT production lines from non-EU countries or is JIT an exclusively EU contribution? Is that what you are saying? Think carefully…

      zorr

    • Edward2
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      People like you who know little about JIT or importing amuse me as I have been involved in these industries for decades.
      It is all about planning and whilst tier one companies hold minimal stocks their suppliers in tier two and tier three hold enough stock to meet scheduled requirements.
      Despite decades of sudden disruptions caused by strikes, closures of main routes, bad weather, rioting refugees in channel ports and many other problems we have worked around all these issue and rarely has a tier one company ever had a line stopper.
      PS
      Was that a threat you were making in your post?

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Erm and who are you going to sell those cars to should we stay within the EU, the German’s and their contracting economy, the Greeks? If you actually work at Honda, commiserations. However do remember there is a chronic skills shortage in the UK. There is work available, more so as you live in the South and near the M4 corridor. If you do have to move, as I have after redundancy, you may find your new place of work actually nicer than the place you were brought up in.

    • NickC
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Wiltshire Boy, You don’t need a “production line” to implement pull manufacturing. Which shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Davies
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Honda J I T lines are mainly ftom Japan, jeez

  6. Mark B
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    I am deleting contributions to the site that wrongly ascribe the planned closure of Honda Swindon to Brexit . . .

    That’s a shame as it would have been nice to go back and show them how wrong they all are.

  7. Dan H.
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    As far as I can see, there is over-capacity in the car manufacturing sector, and modern cars last longer than older cars do. Thus we don’t need as many car plants in the world, and companies such as Honda will close what to them are overseas factories and concentrate on their local operation.

    Japan drives on the left just the same as we do, so Honda cars will continue to be produced to the high standards we are used to, just not here. Our workers will after brexit have a slightly reduced ability to export to the EU (depending on how pig-headed the EU high command feel like being) but an increased ability to export elsewhere.

  8. agricola
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    From experience the Japanese do not always say what they mean. They have a word for no but rarely use it. I believe they consider it impolite. Their word for yes has three meanings. Yes, Maybe, or I am too polite to say No. Be very careful in interpreting what they are saying about their planned closure of Honda. Do not jump to conclusions one way or the other.

    My feeling is that the motor industry is at a crossroad on a Worldwide basis. Big changes are planned, such as electrification. Even that has a number of possible routes to fulfilment. The old norms are in question often by ill informed politicians, Brexit is a periferal issue.

    Were I a senior politician I would be talking to Tesla, who sell in a modest way in the UK already and to Dyson who I believe are considering getting into the electric vehicle business. I would also go to China to talk to the entrepreneur who has an original approach to electric travel. Instead of petrol service stations on motorways he is promoting battery exchange stations. Changeover times the same as fill up times.

    Honda’s decision is based on what they see as the current business situation. It could change considerably in the future were we to have a business wise government and at least a few who could be described as entrepreneurial rather than career politicians.

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    “government and Council offer all the help they can” funny thats what they said about the Redcar steelworks, various shipyards, various glass producers, lots of mines, and so on.

    the main “government and Council help” people need is freedom to take their social housing subsidy anywhere they want, so they can move closer to jobs market for them when it suits them, freedom to move area and get their kids into a decent school rather than being put at the back of the school waiting list wherever they arrive and forced into the worst school in town, and freedom to keep their place in any NHS treatment queue they are in when they move house.

    other than that market forces should fix a lot of things, if immigration were actually kept under control. as it is a lot of people will be displaced from the workforce and replaced with immigrants.

  10. Newmania
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The workforce at Swindon is skilled and capable

    Thanks to the vast investment in creating those skills made by The Companies when they came here, they did not exist before and they will not be needed now

    • libertarian
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Newmania

      The workforce at Swindon is skilled and capable

      Very true, however what you overlook is exactly what they are skilled in. Sure some are skilled in motor production but large numbers of those people are skilled in other areas that would make is easier to find alternative jobs in the local area over the next two years

  11. Tom Weston
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Well done, Sir John.

    Would that our broadcasters, particularly the soi-disant unbiased public service broadcaster the Beeb, would do the same. It would also help if when Remoaner politicians tell lies about the impact of Brexit, which happens all too frequently, they were rebutted by the overpaid media presenters. Now there’s a flying pig!

  12. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The BBC tv this morning was pulling out all the stops this morning as usual to misrepresent it as Brexit issue though and to suggest that more was on the way.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed nothing to do with Brexit, they are not even moving it to an EU country. The people are skilled and will find alternative jobs in the main. Some may well start good businesses with their redundancy payments. This especially if the government do a complete U turn and lower taxes, cut red tape, go for cheap reliable energy, simpler employment laws and deliver a real Brexit, Rather than May’s appalling sick joke.

    On the other hand if Corbyn/SNP get it (thanks to May) the economy will probably fall to pieces in very quick order. Just the chance of him getting in is hugely damaging.

  14. ferdinand
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Exactly. The BBC had a so-called expert this morning attributing it largely to Brexit but a subsequent statement by someone from Honda said it had nothing to do with Brexit. The BBC uses the silly JIT argument forgetting that Honda ship parts from Japan on a JIT basis.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    The later morning news broadcasts had two connected items, even of course though no attempt was made to highlight the connection:

    1. 3,500 jobs to be lost from the Honda plant in Swindon when it is closed in 2021, plus perhaps three times as many jobs in the supply chain to be put at risk.

    2. There are now 32.6 million people in work in the UK, with unemployment having fallen by 14,000 over the last quarter of 2018.

    So we are talking about roughly 0.01% of the UK workforce having to seek new jobs when the plant closes, and we are talking about UK unemployment falling over three months by about the same number as all the jobs potentially at risk from that closure.

    Of course the problem is that while these job losses may be small in number compared to the high overall “churn” in the UK jobs market, maybe coming to about the same number of jobs lost as the number of new jobs created across the UK on an average day:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/08/02/overseas-firms-back-city-by-signing-for-new-offices/#comment-882347

    the losses will mainly be concentrated in a small part of the country and so there will need to be geographically concentrated efforts to provide alternatives.

  16. Dominic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    How can we be sure that our postings are not being monitored by Collins and his associates from the Remain faction who appear determined to slander Brexit supporters with the far-right card?

    Is this what we elect and pay MPs to do? To indulge in surveillance? Has May put him up to this?

    This nation is becoming a dangerous place to live

    • Brigham
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Collins is my MP. He won’t get my vote ever again. The last time I said this our host censored it.

  17. Ian wragg
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting that the BBC has downgraded the story since Honda said it isn’t Brexit related.
    I am driving my third Civic and will probably buy another this year. Then they will be removed from my list of suppliers as I only buy cars built in the UK.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Skilled workforce, government subsidies – cheap space and second hand equipment.

    Seems like an opportunity to me to sell British cars to the British.

  19. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    My big complaint about the government subsidising the car industry is simply that our roads and car parks / drives / laybys are already full – quite often with cars going nowhere.
    It’s great that some households can afford 2 or more cars, but the government has failed to keep up with demand for car spaces and road infrastructure.

    We badly need a new industry that can use the skilled workers from car factories, that can produce something we all need, but won’t create additional problems.
    SUGGESTIONS Welcome … on a postcard please.

  20. ukretired123
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Swindon Honda has been in the local news so often since the last Global crisis especially since Honda has always struggled to sell in Europe against German and French cars and at lower prices. It is telling that they are not moving to the EU to manufacture but returning to Japan.
    The sea change as Sir John has mentioned before is the war on diesels in favour of controversially Electric cars for the future similar to all major auto manufacturers. China hope to become major competitors on Japan’s doorstep just like Dyson in Singapore plus many others. This is structural economic change as when steam engines ran out of steam. Things do change and we are encouraged to move onward and upward.
    There was further news of a large £400 million tech investment into the UK this week. Also Toyota are to create a new model in the Midlands which got little publicity from the media.

  21. Den
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I did not see these comments but they would demonstrate the pathetic bleatings of a DieHard Remoaner camp who would seize any opportunity to denigrate our Brexit. If jobs have been lost at Honda the blame could be levied upon Brussels for its OTT attack on diesel fuels and their crazy Green taxes that pump up energy costs for all factories in the country.
    Odd that Diesels were encourage years ago because they emitted less CO2. The horror gas that promotes Global Warming. Now its all change and the Diesel engine has been black balled into oblivion. Until the next time when they change their minds.
    Of course the remoaners wear Brussel Blinkers so that they see only events that concern Brexit – never what is really going on in the much bigger Rest of the World.

  22. Helen Smith
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The open gloating when Nissan announced it wasn’t bringing X-Trail to Sunderland was frightening in its intensity.

    Brexit has exposed a deep hatred and feeling of superiority to the working classes by the chattering classes.

  23. margaret howard
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Why do you feel it necessary to delete contributions that blame Brexit? After all you don’t do that to the many posters who constantly deny any harm being done to this country by Brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Because it is fake news
      Honda have issued a statement saying it wasn’t due to brexit.

  24. Ian
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Good morning,
    Yet more truth today, will we ever be rid of these ghastly Remoaners in power, and the number one in the Bank of England.
    We must hope that we are given another G. E. Soon, let’s have people with commitment and passion for this Great Country of ours, bring on those who can and will deliver Brexit.

  25. George Brooks
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear WILTSHIRE BOY how long and how deep have you had you head buried in the sand????
    Just-in-time was being developed years before the EU came into being and the systems within single market and the customs union had to be designed to accommodate it. It never was an EU invention and we will get on fine without that bureaucratic monster telling us what to do

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Well, JR, over lunch I turned on the BBC Parliament channel, and I wonder whether you will also be going into the Commons Hansard record and deleting the contributions of ministers and others claiming that what has happened shows the crucial importance of supporting Theresa May’s ‘deal’.

    That chap who used to be in the SDP but is now notionally a Tory, Greg Clark, too readily agreed with his Labour opposite number that the news was “devastating” for the whole UK economy, even though the £2 billion turnover of the plant itself:

    https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/southwest/revenue-grows-by-more-than-1bn-at-honda-europe

    is at the level of 0.1% of UK GDP, which is about £2 trillion, and he reeled off statements from various other motor manufacturers to support his argument that any deal with the EU, whatever they chose to offer, however bad for us, was better than no deal.

  27. BCL
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    There are only two types of news.
    1 Good news that happens in spite of Brexit
    2 Bad news that happens because of Brexit

    The media have lost all credibility just as have the project fear merchants. The danger is that some of us are inclined to believe nothing we hear on the subject and that is not healthy for our democracy especially as it may prove to be contagious and to infect our view of what we hear on other at present less divisive subjects.

  28. roger
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I thought the main thrust of the CEO’s reasoning was the need to change production from ICE cars to electric cars in accordance with the political will to achieve the changeover within just a few years of 2021.
    The cause of the closure is therefore the firm policy announcements by the economically and scientifically challenged M Gove together with a wealth of other amoeba brained denizens of Westminster.
    That this would be the obvious outcome to his impossible dream seems not to have troubled his tiny mind, but even I am surprised at the speed with which this and many other affected businesses have responded to his ill conceived virtue signalling childish plans.

  29. bigneil
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Will those who lose their jobs at Swindon and aren’t lucky enough to get another so they can carry on paying their mortgage and other bills, get as much from the state as those who have arrived in dinghies and lorries. Guaranteed housing, free money, etc etc? – or will they effectively be thrown out of the door and told “You don’t qualify for anything” after a year of £21 a week, by the Jobcentre staff, like I was.

  30. Caterpillar
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    But one has to stay that Greg Clark himself seems to big up Brexit uncertainty in today’s debate. I remain shocked at the inability the govt has shown to be ready ti leave at the end of March i.e. no uncertainty. I am also surprised at the negative use of narrative economics (whether Govt or BoE) – is this intentional or are they just not up to date?

  31. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    A great opportunity to re-establish the British Motor Industry – we have the facilities ,the skills, just need some real designers to produce truly mblematic, unique, beautiful British cars – as they have done for generation!
    I want to be it’s in the queue for one please. At present I don’t have a car because I can’t find anything to buy!

  32. acorn
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the company is insisting that its decision is not down to Brexit, but automotive analysts aren’t buying it. There may be other important factors, they say, but it’s impossible to remove Brexit from the equation.

    “They’re probably trying to be polite publicly,” said Professor David Bailey of Aston University.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Or you remainers want to spin every event as being because of Brexit whilst carefully ignoring any positive news.

      • acorn
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        And the positive news is … ?

        • Edward2
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Compare your remainer team’s Project Fear predictions for disaster after the referendum date with the actual happenings and the very recent excellent news on employment…up unemployment…down, youth unemployment down, with record numbers in work, growth continuing, stock exchange doing well and high inward investment.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      acorn

      Oh stop being so totally dim. Theres never any other reason than Brexit is there, wake up and smell the coffee. We live in a fast changing world. Political decisions often taken with little thought and lots of virtual signalling are far more likely the cause. Unless you dont understand that Green policies, higher emissions standards, collapse of diesel the race to electric all have far greater impact on the motor industry that whether there will or maybe not ( we dont know yet the government refuse to publish their proposed tariffs) a 10% tariff on cars .

      Oh and seeing as I just bought two brand new Mercedes cars and got a 25% discount on each I’m sure car makers could handle a 10% tariff within their price structures

  33. Mark
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    The culprits for the Honda closure are

    Michael Gove, with his plan to ban diesel and petrol vehicles
    Sadiq Khan, with his plan to levy inordinate tax on diesel and petrol vehicles entereing London
    Phil Hammond, for his extra taxes on new vehicles
    Mark Carney, for his attacks on new vehicle financing
    EU regulations that seek impossible standards and threaten large fines that will effectively increase vehicle costs (and which the UK will adopt despite Brexit – see the rogues’ gallery above)

    Who would invest in vehicle manufacture in the face of these?

    All part of the green de-industrialisation of Britain, which will have knock on effects to many suppliers as well. It’s time these greens were held to proper account and scrutiny – including Lord Deben, whose Climate Change Committee is at the root of much of it.

  34. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Strictly speaking you are right. Honda does not mention brexit as a reason for its decision. In a sense it syas that given the EU-Japan FTA (and also the EU-Canada) it will be able to ship cars from plants with much better efficiency than the small operation in the UK that is running at less than 60% of capacity. That is all it has to say. Honda was already shrinking its UK/EU footprint last year when the decision was taken to concentrate on the hatchback version of the Civic (unsaleable outside Europe basically) and move CRV production to Canada. It is also killing the British designed 1.6 litre diesel family (possibly the best small diesel on the market) that relies on a German motor management and fuel injection system, unusual for a Japanese car. That engine would have had severe brexit trouble in the case of a no deal, imo.

    The point is of course, with Honda (and probably Toyota too) gone, will Nissan be next. Honda’s timing coincides with the end of the transition period (not mentioned) , the Civic model cycle (mentioned) and the full effectiveness of motor tariff reductions as per the Japan and Canada FTAs.

    One could look at it this way: once Japan and Canada (both with very large scale) can ship cars, who would bother to build in the UK, especially after brexit. Not a monocausal phenomenon yet quite convincing. Once you take appr 1 million (2/3s) of UK car production (if Nissan joins the exodus) out of the supply system, will non UK headquartered component makers stay? Then what will happen to JLR. It is like unravelling a piece of knitting.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood,

      I forgot to mention that Mini will have trouble too in the Japexit scenario too, similar to JLR but much more critical because so much of its value is from the EU and there is spare capacity in Holland and Austria to replace UK capacity. Only those Union Jacks would be a bit problematic..

  35. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    There’s a worrying tendency by Remoaners to ignore the views of experts, in this case Honda themselves who have explained clearly why they are leaving Swindon. Who needs experts ? they seem to be saying.

  36. William
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Even when the CEO of Honda explicitly states the choice to move Honda out of Swindon was not at all Brexit-related, there are still some Remoaners who say he is only doing it for self-interest. They justify this by saying that if the CEO were to say it was Brexit-related, Brexiteers will boycott Honda products and they’ll lose customers. Ignoring how stupid that justification is, it is amazing that Remoaners will say the CEO is lying that Brexit didn’t contribute to the decision, yet they’ll lap up anything any CEO or business-related person says that’s anti-Brexit even though the protectionist status quo of the EU really DOES stand to benefit the self-interest of these established oligopolies.

    The cognitive dissonance amongst the loud minority of some of these ‘educated elite’ Remoaners is quite astonishing. I put it down to a failure in an education system which nurtures the disease of Group Think and unoriginal thought.

  37. Andy
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Yep. Nothing at all to do with Brexit.

    Honest.

    • NickC
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Andy, You and Honesty are strange bedfellows. As you have freely admitted.

  38. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Just turned on the BBC, they said it is not “JUST” Brexit but other factors “AS WELL”.

  39. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    The BBC news chap also said we get “free health care” in the UK, really? The BBC think its free?

    • agricola
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      You only get any government service free if you pay no tax. When you buy almost anything you pay tax. That tax in part pays for what you might imagine is “free”.

  40. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    So we are now moving into an era where if the govt dont like your politics they just withdraw your citizenship?

    • agricola
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      If your politics are aimed at killing the civilian citizens of that country, the government have a duty of care to try to keep their ctizens safe. This allows them to do whatever is deemed necessary within the law of that country.

      • rose
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Also, this case is the tip of the iceberg, being a test case for hundreds, maybe thousands more. The PM refused to allow Asia Bibi here because it would be too much trouble. She was an innocent Christian refugee, fully deserving of our hospitality.

        The present case would require going to the top of the queue for housing, fostercare, healthcare, benefits, police protection, maybe prison, and certainly 24 hour surveillance. All these are hopelessly overstretched.

        Then there is the consideration of safety for the general population, the first duty of government.

        • rose
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Besides, the person concerned was born in Bangladesh and therefore there is another, more suitable country for her to settle in than here.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      I would see it as “joint enterprise” with torrists, so don’t have a problem with the Government’s position

    • Norman
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Young people sometimes do crazy things. It is a tragedy for the family, considering the girl was only 15 when she became radicalized, and ran away. Though politically difficult, I tend to think mercy would have been more winsome in this case. Perhaps it’s too soon to come right for them: remember Hagar, with her boy, Ishmael, and what happened there (Genesis 21:17).

  41. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    So 400 male ISIS fighters, men, have allegedly returned to the UK but the govt and Media decided to make an example of a 19 year old girl who wasn’t even fighting and treat her uniquely? At this time? Wow what horrible vile people we have become. Sorry, but it is Brexit related as she is being set up as a news diversion to pander to peoples most basest emotions.

    • Excalibur
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      How do you know she was not fighting ? To suggest that this has anything at all to do with Brexit is absurd.

  42. ChrisS
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Jaguar LandRover would consider taking over the Swindon factory and repatriating their excellent Electric I Pace model from Austria where production is sub-contracted to a Canadian-owned firm – Magna.

    Austria has a much higher cost base than the UK and Magna won’t be charitable enough to produce the cars at cost for JLR.

    Needless to say, there would be oodles of Government cash available for JLR to take over the factory as we will no longer be restricted by EU state aid restrictions by 2021.

    Seems the obvious solution to me………………How about proposing it, Sir John ?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Good idea – it will never happen. Government’s never really seem to act sensibly. Instead they spend who knows how many billions on HS2 – which hardly anyone wants. Another example of government not listening to the people.

  43. Edwardm
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Well said

  44. Davek
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Distance from Swindon to Wokingham about 40 miles, methinks the fallout from Honda decision will reach far and wide

  45. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Brexit

    However was used as part of the explanation by both Ford, Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover, so mixed signals

    • libertarian
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      hans

      Only mixed signals for the hard of thinking . Those of us who pay attention can explain the troubles of the global car industry quite easily and Brexit isn’t one of them

  46. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I wish to see the government and Council offer all the help they can to ensure that in the run up to closure good jobs are found to replace the lost Honda jobs

    Sorry, but this stuff is trotted out every time there is a major factory closure. ‘All the help THEY CAN’ – which is next to nothing.

    How about giving Dyson or Branson or someone government investment to take over the factory and continue to produce cars. We have many great car designers working for the Japanese and German manufacturers. Get them working for a British manufacturer for a change. It’s not the 1970s. People employed in the car industry have proved they can make world class cars in a very efficient manner. Give them the chance – do EVERYTHING you can, and MORE – to make it happen. As a government, do something USEFUL for once instead of dreaming up more ways to tax us.

  47. bigneil
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Ms Begum is to lose her citizenship? wow – -there are already loads here who don’t have UK citizenship. They still get housed, benefits and NHS. . . how come over 300 have already returned – -have they lost THEIR citizenship as well???.This sounds like when Jack Straw said the Afghan hijackers had been deported – -then years later they were found living in London

  48. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Such as jobs generated by someone else making electric and hybrid cars.

    So who can make a lot of such cars by 2021?

  49. Simon Coleman
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    You’re deleting comments! Oh really….didn’t I say that you’ve got nothing to do while you wait for No Deal Brexit Day? In fact, Honda said last year that they were worried about No deal. Their statement the other day might well be due to a recognition that Swindon voted Leave – i.e. they don’t want to appear to be taking revenge by blaming the closure on Brexit. Anyway, Brexit isn’t exactly giving companies reasons to stay. So where are the companies who want to come here to take advantage of the new post-Brexit opportunities? The fact that you’re still peddling pro-Brexit propaganda with just days to go before exit day shows that you’ve got no actual evidence for this dazzling future for our country.

    Reply There has been a big gain of jobs since the vote and big flows in of net inward investment e.g. Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazaon

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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