Honda loses out in Europe and worries about the change to electric cars

Honda’s market share has fallen a long way in recent years in Europe. From selling 311,000 cars at the peak in 2007, last year it sold just 136,000.  The Swindon plant is only running one of the two lines, and at under 150,000 cars a year it is a small plant by world standards. Honda Europe is one of the casualties of the top down electrification policy pursued by the EU and UK governments. As Honda explained :

“This is not a Brexit related issue for us. This decision has been made on the basis of global issues. We have to move very swiftly to electrification of vehicles, because of demand of our customers and legislation”.

Honda wishes to concentrate its investments in large plants making modern vehicles that meet changing legislation in the places where they sell most cars. That is Asia and the USA, not Europe, where their market share is now small. This is one example of the massive change being forced on the industry by governments with their requirement to sell many more electric vehicles. It is interesting that Honda mentioned legislation as an important factor, underlining that this abrupt change in the profile of cars to be sold results from a top down instruction from legislators as well as from some customers having a genuine preference for electric vehicles.

It follows hard on the heels of Nissan’s decision to make one of its diesel cars only in Japan without adding  a UK line , given the big drop off in demand following adverse legislation and threats of more to come from government. Nissan does have decent overall  volumes in the UK and is committed to further investment in its UK business.

I forecast particular difficulties for the UK car industry in 2017 when the  Bank of England adopted a tough stance on car loans, and the government  launched a tax attack on new vehicles whilst  pursuing an anti diesel policy. This was particularly damaging to the UK based car industry which had built centres of excellence for clean diesel engine technology here in the UK with government encouragement. Investment in car production is a long term business. The big switch in UK government attitudes to diesels will have a price that goes beyond its obvious impact on the large section of our car industry that makes diesel cars. Companies  want consistent support for the industry and a predictable legislative and tax background, whether they are making diesel or petrol vehicles.

I trust the government will explore alternative uses for the Honda factory and work for the workforce. It could get a contractor that supplies vehicles to the state and or does deep maintenance on  public sector vehicles to undertake it there, for example.

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226 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    It is a shame the UK has no center-of-excellence in battery technology. Had there been, perhaps Nissan and Honda might be staying.

    If we had a real Business and Industry secretary we might be able to keep up with major industrial developments.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      The Victorians never had a Business Secretary. What they had were men of vision and ability. None of which resided in Parliament.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        The current Business Secretary is anti-business, anti-Brexit, a pusher of the greencrap, expensive energy and endless other red tape, a supporter of the highest taxes for 40 years, an HS2 enthusiast and a frequent purveyor of project fear.

        Also an ex(?) Social Democrat.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Victorians didn’t have corporation tax, nor regular income tax.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Mr Gladstone cut income tax from 6d in the pound to 4d in the pound, and purchase tax didn’t exist until WW1.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Peter Wood

          So a better idea would be to scrap corporation tax and lower income tax to 2p in the pond then . Anything rather than have pork barrel politics and boondoggle politicians

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Victorians didn’t tax anything that moved and much that doesn’t.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        And the Victorians weren’t much constrained by regulations which must have helped.

      • Adam
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        You reveal a key issue, Mark B.

        Similarly, employees with vision avoid risks of losing income from an employer who runs out of road. Chauffeurs & other car workers should similarly look well ahead for signs. Those with vision & ability won’t need an Employment Secretary to activate the emergency services.

        A careless Chancellor, who suddenly turns a motorway into crossroads during foggy weather is a hazard to all. Voters with vision, like Lifelogic, would have revoked his licence to operate.

      • Hope
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        After seeing Greg Clarke in the commons he and Hammond should be apologising for creating the conditions for car manufactures to leave the U.K. Both have allowed an anti diesel climate when our country is at the forefront of building such engines. Hammond applied a credit squeeze with Carney to slow the purchase of cars at a time when our country is negotiating trade Deals! Are these three completely stupid or utterly indoctrinated with EU fanaticism?

        May cannot be trusted on anything. Underhand, lying traitor.

        Tory associations need to act to get new MPs before those EU remaining fanatics leave your constituencies without a voice or representation in parliament. A proper Right to recall is now desperately needed. We cannot have MPs in jail refusing to quit or MPs having no honour or conscience to represent the wishes of those who elect them.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Did you hear Hammond on the subject of the UK economy in the EU debates? His main concern seemed to be protecting the UK Derivatives market.

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        And the raw materials and wealth of an ’empire’ stretching across a quarter of the globe at its disposal (to rob). Men of vision like Rhodes?

        • Hope
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Rhodes was a brilliant visionary and investor of his time. Look where he was buried. You cannot put today’s socialist aspirations on what happened in history. That is too dull even for you Margaret.

          • Fuddy Duddy
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            ‘Rhodes was a brilliant visionary and investor of his time. ‘

            Yes for himself by taking what did not belong to him other by wheeler dealing. I have always thought how Rhodes Scholars could not feel how their education was funded. Even as his statue is now in the news there is no comment on Rhodes Scholars funding.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:36 am | Permalink

          China’s at it now. There are always men of vision.

      • Andy
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        The Victorians also sent children down the mines. Things are much easier when you have ready access to slave labour, eh? That is, after all, what Brexit is about.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          You are getting increasingly silly as 29th March approaches Andy.

        • DaveM
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          That makes no sense at all.

        • Beecee
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          So did Bevin who conscripted teenagers into the Mine service during WW2 and many were not released from that service until 1948.

        • Den
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          What? If anyone promotes slave labour it is the EU. Allowing hundreds if not thousands of poor Eastern Europeans to travel west to receive a minimum wage (plus a top up from our Government) so that the Big Corporations employing them will accumulate more profit and remain loyal to the Brussels cabal. The EU is a racket and with their closed shop trade ideals they have become a protection racket. Now what does that make them?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Access to unlimited cheap labour is one of the four pillars of the EU Andy.

          Think before engaging fingers perhaps.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          Not property speculators importing Eastern European labour and paying them a pittance then?

        • Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Oh, Andy. Andy.
          Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

          Once again……..

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy costs £14 billion a year. I say scrap it an give all businesses a £14 billion tax cut.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Stephen Priest

          ABSOLUTELY

    • jerry
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; Stop mixing up R&D with manufacturing/assembly…

    • Nigl
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      And notice how quick he was to use this news to link it to Brexit without actually saying it was the cause. Transparent propaganda.

    • Merlin
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      It seems like one bad news story after another.

      A close friend who owns quite a large business says that nobody is buying due to market uncertainty. Sales going forward are down 50% and he is laying off seven members of staff and halting his expansion – and also that most of his associates are doing so too.

      I am starting to worry.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Merlin

        Its only one bad news story after another if you only choose to look for bad news

        Tell me about employment, tell me about the 20 plus new factories and expanded facilities in the UK in 2019 already

        Tell me about contracts and investment won

        Go on stop trying to find “news” that supports your view and actually look at whats happening in the real world

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        I’m worried too… so I’m spending as normal.

        Keeping my neighbours in work.

        Forget charity. The best charity you can give is to spend your money locally.

    • Richard
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      The green obsession is killing EU manufacturing competitiveness:
      “The third release of the EU Commission’s periodic study of global electricity and gas prices for the first time compares the EU 28 with the whole of the G20 for the period 2008 to 2016. EU 28 household electricity prices are now more than double those in the G20, while industrial electricity prices are now nearly 50% higher.” https://www.thegwpf.com/eu-commission-study-reveals-international-competitive-disadvantage-of-climate-policies/ https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/energy_prices_and_costs_-final_report-v12.3.pdf

      • Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Where do they think that electricity comes from?

    • Den
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      James Dyson has such a centre in Wiltshire. That is where his products are designed and using the expertise gained he is now developing an electric car based around his own advanced battery technology.
      He too is focusing production in the FE where his main customer base lies and where he already has modern production facilities with the talent to go with them.

    • Richard
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Correction: the new Auris was rebranded as the new Corolla – so same car. https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/business/toyota-factory-near-derby-stop-1944061

    • acorn
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      We have the start of an EV battery industry, Automotive Energy Supply Corp (AESC), owned by Nissan and NEC (both Japanese). It appears they have sold it to the Chinese. The Renault bit of the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance, buys its EV batteries from South Korea’s LG Chem.

      Perhaps the Chinese think they can corner the market for EV batteries in a post-Brexit UK. But, you can bet that Nissan and Toyota won’t hang around to pay Chinese UK prices for EV batteries.

  2. Economist for Truth
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Your favourite economist P Minford is honest enough to admit the aim of Brexit is to run down our manufacturing industry and replace it with cheaper goods. You are not honest enough to admit this. Because you know that if people know the truth about Brexit, Brexit is sunk.

    Reply That is not the point of Brexit.i have explained how we can boost manufacturing once out.

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

      Nonsense that is not the aim at all. The aim should be to restore real UK democracy and make the UK one of the best places in the World to do business of all types.

      • Andy
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Working well then, isn’t it!

        Seriously – we are laughing at you.

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          He who laughs last laughs longest.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          You need to get someone who can read to read you all my posts about the successes of UK manufacturing during 2018/19

          You truly are away with the fairies

        • Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps you could clarify who ”we” are, Andy. I imagine ”you all” crowded around your computer in the basement, chuckling and drinking Red Bull till Mum tells you it’s time your friends went home and it’s time for bed.

          Correct me if I’m wrong.

          • Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            PS Sorry. Must go. Time the kids went to bed.

        • Jagman84
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          No Andy, we are still laughing at you. Laughing at your ever more desperate attempts to paint the UK in a bad light simply because the biggest vote in our democratic history failed to give the outcome you desired. Keep having your tantrums as I feed off your discomfort. You really deserve it for some of your more vicious and hate-filled outbursts.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:38 am | Permalink

          You’re not laughing. You sound very angry, in fact.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Yes. All those candlestick makers, shoeshine boys and matchgirls must be really frightened of all those cheap imports – NOT !

      Things change. Either you move with it or, you get left behind. Hard for the latter I know but that is how it is.

    • jerry
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      @Economist for Truth; Nonsense, that is the aim of the EEC/EU, firstly from the old European eastern block countries (it was called aiding reconstruction), then protection EU members (hence why Ford Europe moved their Transit van factory to Turkey) along with allowing China unfettered access to the EU28 markets.

      It is you who is being the dishonest one, because if you were you woudld sink the EU, no Brexit!

      • jerry
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Let me try again, without the typos, more hast less speed -as they used to say in Swindon…

        @Economist for Truth; It is you who is being the dishonest one, because if you were tell the truth you would sink the EU, not Brexit!

        I also mean prospectus EU members, not ‘protection’.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Patrick Minford has never said any such thing. He has pointed out the obvious truth that being able to source goods at (the lowest possible) world market prices benefits living standards. He and like minded economists also observe that the removal of protectionism promotes competition which improves the offering to customers and in the long run strengthens business.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Adam Smith said that too, but he also said (I paraphrase) that where two or three business people gather together, they will seek to reduce competition from others outside their circle. This sounds very much like the EU today and the bleatings from the CBI and the IoD about leaving without a deal.

    • Woody
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      What utter rubbish. HOWEVER, you do point out one of the benefits of leaving the eu as you accept that being in the eu has kept prices higher than they should be. By trading with the rest of the world outside the protectionist bubble of the eu then it is certain prices will fall.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      I would like to know what Minford imagines would happen to the pound if the only economic activities were shopkeeping and thieving banksterism.

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

        forhurst

        Milford never said what is claimed he said about manufacturing its a partial quote taken out of context.

        Do you know what though, what really really annoys me is people who have no idea what the Services Industries are

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      JR, why do you even give currency to such a brazen lie as this, while vaporising other submissions which may be contentious but arguably have a kernel of truth?

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      The aim of Brexit is to regain our sovereignty. I doubt that anyone who voted to leave the EU had in mind running down our manufacturing industry.

      • Andy
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Your second sentence is correct. The first begs the simple question – precisely what did we not have the power to do before Brexit which we will have the power to do after it?

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          Two things:

          Not be ruled by the EU Commission.

          Not be overruled by the ECJ.

          —-

          If we really do have representative democracy in the EU then why was UKIP winning the EU election not a crisis ?

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      You choose to ignore the thousands of British jobs lost through the EUs policy of giving grants to move production from the UK.
      Just a small example Cadbury , Ford Transit , Jaguar Land Rover , Peugeot , Gillette even Dyson got an EU loan to move to Malaysia.
      Then look at billions spent by the UK train companies forced to buy rolling stock from Europe, Siemens alone got £14 billion not one British job created.
      The sooner we are rid of the EU shackles the better.

    • DennisA
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      “the aim of Brexit is to run down our manufacturing industry ”

      The EU has already done that quite successfully.

  3. Mark B
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Very sad news for the workers at Honda and the people of Swindon. Of course it will not be just them but, the suppliers and dealers as well. Not to forget local business.

    . . . Honda mentioned legislation as an important factor . . .

    Indeed. But where did the legislation originate from ? I have long argued that certain car European car manufacturers push for changes in legislation so they can sell more units.

    I trust the government will explore alternative uses for the Honda factory . . .

    I’d doubt it. But you could take some of that money we give away via the International Development money and put it into Swindon ? But I suppose digging wells is more important that looking after the people whose taxes paid for it.

    Sorry Sir John but when things like this happen it irks me.

    • Hope
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      It goes to the heart of the green lobby climate change bigots. Our countrys manufacturing ability is being decimated because of expensive energy. Created by EU policynthat May and other idiots blindly follow.

      Last week th e boss of Ineous relocated and stated quite clearly how the decline of the bio chemical manufacturing in the EU had 30 percent of world market now it has 15 percent because of green lobby twaddle. He spoke about the huge potential of shale gas and how it could provide our country a boom but only to be stopped by govt and the green lobby!

      I cannot think of a time in my life where every and each ministerial dept is so bad and failing our country in every area. Treasury, business, home office, criminal justice, pensions, enviornemnt, health, education, community, overseas aid before brexit etc. You name one minister that is or has actually achieved anything. Utterly useless and clueless the lot of them. We read only yesterday how maudant spent £444 million in well off countries. Shocking! We read how overseas aid is £1.5 billion more than first thought! Hammond cannot stop taxing us to give it away! Squeezes the car industry when we need it. Then May wants us to sell our homes for adult,care!

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Hope

        “He spoke about the huge potential of shale gas and how it could provide our country a boom but only to be stopped by govt and the green lobby!”

        By the green lobby you mean people who live near fracking sites that have experienced earth quakes?

        Thank goodness for European legislation. We don’t want companies like his given carte blanche to poison the environment. We can’t trust our own government to do the right thing.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          They are not earthquakes margaret.
          They are tiny tremors that you can only measure by very sensitive recording machines.
          Equivolent to a lorry driving past your home.

          I realise you hate fossil fuels.
          Yet you like most lefty greens still base your own modern life on their use.

        • Mockbeggar
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          If by “earthquakes” you mean the very first one that measured about 3 on the Richter scale; it was no greater than the HGVs hitting potholes as they go past our house and making the whole thing shake. Since then, the only “earthquakes” caused by fracking have only been felt by the sensors; no-one has been able to feel them.
          How many “earthquakes” were caused by deep coal mining? Some areas are full of deeps where old mines have collapsed.
          Please put things in proportion before you get so excited.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “Indeed. But where did the legislation originate from ? I have long argued that certain car European car manufacturers push for changes in legislation so they can sell more units.”

      Surely that legislation applied to ALL EU member states? So how did other countries manage to make a success of it?

      • libertarian
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        MH

        So how did other countries manage to make a success of it?

        Er they haven’t , car factories are being closed around Europe, European economies in Greece, Italy and France are in taters and Germany is in recession and unemployment is rife More than 1,000 French factories have closed in the last few years including recently the Ford Car plants in France and Spain and the Michelin Tyre factory .. you think thats being successful…. ok

    • Mark B
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Ahem ! Well I called that one wrong.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47306022

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/19/an-independent-group/#comment-996590

      Alas they have not decided to go down the SDP route which, one would have hoped, attracted a number of Conservative (sic) MP’s also facing deselection.

    • DennisA
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      “But I suppose digging wells is more important that looking after the people whose taxes paid for it.”

      If that were indeed happening to our development money, rather than going into the pockets of international consultancies and “capacity building”, ie more bureaucracy, fancy buildings etc.

  4. David in Kent
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I wonder if James Dyson would be interested in making his electric cars in the Honda factory.

    • Sameold
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I heard Tim Martin was thinking about turning the place into a brewery, so jobs for some of the workers, the others will have plenty of choice at fruit picking-when the foreigners have left

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        They say the NHS is crying out for workers too, with everyone returning back to the EU….

      • Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Oh – you mean when the ”foreigners” have been replaced by students on holiday – as it always used to be? Students who were glad of the money? Or are things different now, with the bank of Mum and Dad?
        (Listening, Andy? Can you understand that young people in the 60s and 70s actually used to WORK for what they wanted – those you despise as ”baby boomers”? Or is that beyond your limited imagination?)

  5. Newmania
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I think we can ignore the disinclination of a brand to identify itself as opposed to the political views of a large customer.
    Try to understand how competition works Getting out of Britain is not just a problem to solve , it is a commercial opportunity. There is always change and some companies will be slow to react, they will die .The ones who act quickly to avoid UK costs and isolation will be the winners.

    You did this to us

    • Mark B
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      The ones who act quickly to avoid UK costs and isolation will be the winners.

      You did this to us

      Costs yes. The Climate Change Act needs to be abolished. As for isolation, do me a favour !

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Honda are pulling out of Turkey too.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      More than 1000 French factories have closed in the last few years

  6. Newmania
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I see the farmers , are screaming to be protected from no deal mayhem tariffs blocks to US imports ( oh dear looks as if I was right on that as well ) and cheap imports .
    Now why should we pay more for our food and then pay taxes to subsidize farmers when the Brexit government is perfectly happy for the rest of to go to the wall . I don`t see any help down the road for the service sector?
    Why are farmers so uniquely privileged ?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Ahem ! I’ll try again 😉

      Farmers get subsidies from the EU. This money comes from the EU but, wait for it, is given to the EU by the UK. Certain people, prominent and ultra pro-EU Tory Lord(s), are in receipt of large sums from the EU. Mike being one of them 😉

      Is that better Sir John 😉

    • Nigl
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      And Gove has given in. Locked to high subsidies EU regs etc. Leaving in name only.

      • Andy
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        How dare Michael Gove want to ensure that standards are high and they our kids are not fed Frankenstein foods.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          Foods that hundreds of millions of people eat every day without a problem.
          In fact with less chance of illness that EU food.

    • jerry
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      @Newmania; “Now why should we pay more for our food and then pay taxes to subsidize farmers”

      That is what Eurosceptics have been saying about the CAP for years, even back in 1972 before we even joined the EEC!

      Farmers need to be protected from the EU, not from the ways of the North American farmers, even though food is cheaper, given a level playing field the UK farmer has nothing to worry about from the USA.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Farmers have always been uniquely privileged & get c. £4bn in subsidies under the CAP, all of which of course comes initially from the UK taxpayer. It would be more sensible simply to make direct payments to them linked to keeping the landscape attractive, footpaths open etc, as happens in Switzerland. Protecting high prices and using bogus regs to keep out good quality goods which people might want to buy makes no sense. It’s amzing how thin the actual arguments of Continuity Remain are!

    • Edward2
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      You fail to understand the EU Common Agricultural Policy which adds greatly to our cost of foods by generously subsidising small farms in France and elsewhere.
      CAP accounts for nearly 40% of the total EU budget a quite staggering amount of money.
      UK farmers need to be free to grow food we want to buy.
      Instead of being paid not to.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Edward2

        You have totally misunderstood the economics an finances of the UK farmer, with this sort of remark.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Well educate me then hans.
          Tell me exactky what I said was incorrect.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          hans

          That will be farmers who get subsidies for not growing things and for fields of rapeseed would it.

          Every farmer I know has kids at public school. The latest subsidy scam is wind farms

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            No response from our EU expert.
            Where are you hans?

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      We subsidise farmers already.

      They also demand that we keep our borders open. Their workers may well contribute to the economy without taking much out but the general policy means uncontrolled immigration.

      I choose to notice (as you choose too) overcrowding and very long queues for all manner of public services.

      You did this to us.

      PS, Well done Savid Javid on the Jihadi bride though what about the other 400 ? British people have been the model of tolerance in the face of extreme provocation – soldiers and police officers killed on UK streets, people run over, arenas full of schoolgirls blown up.

      Newmania chose to sneer at us instead of praising us.

      So we kept calm, remained peaceful and voted Brexit after they told us it was ultimately the ECJ reigning in our judicial system.

      He (his sort) did this to us.

      Clearly he can’t escape Brexit Britain. Good.

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      It’s a little difficult to move the farmland to another duristriction so they have to deal with whatever they encounter. The CAP has skewed agriculture in favour of mainly French producers so this intervention will enable them to adjust to a proper open market. An anathema to the centralist EU.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Jagman84,

        As long as we ae willing to see a considerable amount of bankruptcies in the UK farming sector.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          If they get paid by the UK government the same or higher to grow food instead of EU cap grant money how Dcan they go bust?

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Newmania

      “Why are farmers so uniquely privileged ?”

      Because they are the land owning establishment. Looking after No 1 is second nature to them.

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        More class hate. Don’t you ever get bored of it?

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        I do recall the banks getting very special treatment 2008 onwards.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Farmers have always received subsidies for certain crops, in or out of the EU. Nothing has changed.

    • Norman
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Farmers are PRIMARY PRODUCERS. They are at the mercy of many factors outside their control. Fishermen likewise. But few want the silly protectionist policies of recent times.
      Historically, at least, if a nation is to survive, it must have an effective military and FOOD security policies. As one who was alive during the Battle of the Atlantic (the longest sea battle in history), with food rationing, I strongly believe we must never take these things for granted. Like Prince Charles, I value and respect the role of our farmers as custodians of the countryside – an important part of who we are as a nation. So many of their skills are passed down the generations – skills which can so easily be lost. Witness what happens when politicians try to take over – ‘communes’ lead to shortages and starvation – one of the latest examples being Zimbabwe. The results are pitiful to see, and the weakest and most vulnerable are the first to suffer.
      The current push by vegans to use climate change alarmism to advance their ill-conceived attack on livestock farming is the latest dangerous deception. Modern ‘cyber culture’, in its detachment from the real world, is so easily deceived and manipulated. Mark my words – it is a path to self destruction and subjugation!

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    The problems of the car industry are largely created by the EU and governments (very misguided) push towards electric vehicles. This is at best, very premature. The technology is not ready, the vehicles have far too many limitations particularly the small range, long recharging times, battery life, inability to tow and the large expense. Many people would need a second car in addition to the limited electric one.

    Consumers can buy a very expensive new electric car but find they are inferior in most respects to a ten year old second hand petrol car. There only real advantage is that they pay little tax on the electricity whereas petrol and diesel are about 80% tax (but how long will this last with tax to death Hammond). Many consumers are therefore doing the sensible thing. Why spend £30K+ on a rather limited electric car when for £1000 you can buy a better & more flexible second hand car? The saving on fuel are trivial in comparison to the rapid depreciation, maintenance and the finance costs for the new one.

    Nor are electric cars more “green” they just shift pollution to the power station and the manufacture of the batteries and cars.

    Consumers also do not want to buy a new petrol or diesel car if it may later be banned or taxed out of many town. So most, rather sensibly, keep running their old one.

    • Mick Anderson
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      There are also other issues with manufacturing large, complicated things in the UK. Excessive energy costs and the rising cost of employment (such as compulsory pension contributions) all add up. It’s all making the UK very uncompetitive for this type of work.

      Nissan and Honda are not so much “pulling out” of the UK as deciding to build the next version of their vehicles elsewhere. When a new car is put into production they pretty much start from scratch with tooling the production, and are not going to close the old production line until the new one is ready. If you must construct a new building because the old one is still in use, you have the luxury of being able to choose where in the world to construct it.

    • Excalibur
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Have you considered running for election, Lifelogic ? You seem to have a pretty shrewd grasp of most things (Boris island apart). Events over the past few months have shown how desperately we need common sense M.P’s.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        No thanks. The problem is what sensible, intelligent person would want all the hassle of being an MP. If you actually want to be one you are probably rather unsuitable. A self publicist, purveyor of the politics of envy, a religious person who thinks they know best, a pusher of climate alarmist or similar.

        It is not easy to tell the truth if you are a politician and want to gain high office. Cameron said he was a cast iron, low tax at heart, cast iron Conservative. He was the complete opposite.

        We do thankfully have about 150 MPs who are intelligent, sensible, honest, non on the make and honourable like our host. But not many more. Alas these never seem to be the ones at the top. Other than Lady Thatcher perhaps and even she made mistakes. John Major being the main one.

        • Andy
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Can’t move. Obvs.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Heathwick London Hub is the way to go. A new runway at each so 5 runways and a Heathrow/Gatwick high speed shuttle.

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      I think this is what is happening already. The car industry as we know it is on the skids. The industry itself admits it has not got a clue about the rate of adoption of battery electric vehicles. It has even less clue about the machinations of politicians talking or legislating change while careless about the consequences of their interventions. Consumers making such a big ticket choice will be cautious before committing to buy anything new when it might be banned the next day. We have seen it already after Mr Gove’s remarks about diesels. As for manufacturers, they need to take cover to survive in a low margin industry. JLR has already written off a couple of £ billions and is wondering how and where it can borrow another £ billion to finance its transition to an uncertain future.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      There should be an enquiry or at least a comprehensive academic case study of the whole diesel debacle. Starting with the lobbying to the EU by the German car industry and the green blob to promote diesel, including the anti-CO2 global warming hysteria of the blob which promoted the policy, particularly here in the UK. Setting out how once such policies are determined at EU level they just go through on the nod in member states. And estimating the huge human suffering and scale of deaths as a result of the pollution – real pollution that is, not just a bit more CO2 as would have happened had we stuck to petrol. And making sure to highlight the contrast between having c 50% diesel vehicles in the UK & EU vs c 5% in North America. Ie actual environmental protection has been far better on this in North America.

      • Mark
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        The pollution story is greatly exaggerated. There are no death certificates with diesel vehicle pollution as a cause. Indeed, we are now told that toast or a Sunday roast are more dangerous. Like so many science stories, we lack proper reporting by people who actually can analyse the claims being made. There was recently a report from a number of German lung doctors who said that the diesel scare has no evidence to support it in their caseload.

    • Walt
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Also, living in hilly country, nor do I want a small capacity highly turbocharged engine, as fitted to most new combustion-engine cars; another result of government meddling.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Quite true. Electric cars are useless for the 50% of the population who don’t have a drive. I can’t think of anything more depressing than coming home from work after a 12 hour shift and having to connect up the charger in the hissing rain.
      I am looking at the new Corolla hybrid but the consumpion is no better than my petrol Civic on the 60 mile commute I do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Indeed for state stop traffic they are OK but on longer distances hybrids are not worth it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          “start” stop traffic

      • Andy
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Decent employers are putting charging points in at work. You then get oa charge you car during the day – at their expense – and you don’t have to faff around at home.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          So you support a tax fiddle?

        • Mockbeggar
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          Ultimately someone is going to have to generate the electricity – and someone is going to have to pay for it.

    • bigneil
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      My 56 reg Focus with 70k on the clock has just gone straight through the MOT. Had it four years. First repair was needed because as I cannot get to/return from, any form of main road without going over several “speed bumps”, eventually the springs broke. Had a new battery on £100 ( presumably the original one finally gave up). Few other minor jobs. Much much cheaper overall than buying a new one. electric or normal.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      There is also the problem of Lithium supplies , the price of Lithium has risen from
      $5k /ton in 2012 to $14k/ton in 2017 .Between 2010 and 2014 demand for Lithium rose by 73% while production rose by 28% The sources for Lithium are Chile and Argentina , you can refine it from sea water but that is very energy intensive . So far there is no way to recover sufficiently pure Lithium from recycled batteries . I have a feeling our politicians current fad for electric cars is going to have similar result as their fad for diesel cars .

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Generally speaking, batteries are very nasty chemistry; both to make and to recycle. As you say, lithium is in short supply, though I believe there is some in Cornwall. Will the fracking lobby object to it being mined I wonder?

    • stred
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      The move to electric vehicles and the demonisation of diesels by political doctors, university green professors and politicians with little technical ability but plenty of green civil servants is more to do with an elitist global government behind the scenes. The UN through the WHO has been lowering emission standards even below EU levels. The figures given by these universitiy ‘experts’ show that very little additional lifespan will be expected after banning dieselor petrol cars. A few weeks extra after 80 years for a person living in the area, which is far less polluted than in the past will not even be measurable. It’s all in order to follow their agendas for lowering CO2. But it won’t because the older nukes will be retired soon and there are no new one ordered, while gas will have to be expanded in order to provide backup for more wind and burning trees doesn’t work either. They know that a diesel car produces no more CO2 than an electric car when the grid content is taken into account, so pollution is rigged to get rid of them.

      Pressure groups such as CleanairLondon claim that the notional deaths are real and Client Earth takes governments to court when the latest very low limits are declared by the UN. Then people are surprised when thousands of jobs are lost. It was no surprise to read that the Department for International Development had donated a million of taxpayer’s money to them. With greens everywhere but in the voting booths, they seem to have a lot of influence but little understanding of reality.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/11/02/boss-taxpayer-funded-green-charity-sees-pay-soar-60pc-232000/

    • Bob
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Philip Hammond and Michael Gove must be very pleased with themselves.

    • agricola
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Tend to agree with you. Premature mouthing off by ill informed politicians has not helped. During WW2 Churchill had the wisdom to make use of the best scientists, engineers, and organisers of industry. The UK went onto a war footing from the begining and it paid dividends. Todays politicians only seem to pay heed to the loony green lobby. Imagine what he might have done with the fracking luddites knowing that this country has boundless resevoirs of gas that we desperately need. A need that has been exacerbated by governments failure to renew atomic energy. He would not have risked the lives of merchant seamen to import wood chips, he would have fracked big time. I have little faith in todays navel gazers, most preoccupied with thwarting the will of the people.

      Cars now are too well made,particularly if engineered by the Japanese, so we do not need so many to be made. As I have said earlier, we should be talking to Tesla ,Dyson, and the Chinese entrepreneur who has developed electric vehicles and battery changing stations with turnround times the same as fill up times. Problems are there to be solved and can be by engineers and scientists incentivised by informed politicians. With the majority we have in the HoC I am not holding my breath.

    • Dan H.
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I strongly suspect that the current battery technologies are something of a dead end, and that flow batteries may well be a better technology to pursue where electric vehicles are concerned. Flow batteries would allow for home charging, and would also allow for very rapid charging by the replacement of the contents of their electrolyte tanks at a service station.

      This is a variant of the old idea of using replaceable battery packs, but one with more chance of actually working.

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

        Flow batteries have a very low energy density. They are suited to static applications, not as batteries for cars. A 100kWh Vanadium redox battery using the latest technology would weigh about 5 tonnes.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          Look a few more years ahead, and you have dial up transport which will only appear at your door if the battery has sufficient charge to reach your destination. Urban car usage will be revolutionised over the next 20 years.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Public transport is not a solution either (other than for some daily commuting routes and intercity trips). Far too slow and inflexible in general and not even less polluting, all things considered. Nor is it even door to door. Often very slow indirect routes that you have to take and a very limited times of the day too.

    Radio 4 yesterday had a long interview with the head of the Met Police. So what did they discuss for the whole interview but the gender and race mixture of staff. No discussion at all of the endless knife murders and stabbings, the general failure to investigate or take any useful action on most other crimes or the general inability of the police service to serve the public. Do nothing if you possibly can seems to be their general approach in my experience.

    If you tie the hands of your recruiters (and make gender/race mix their main agenda) then by definition will not end up with the best people who apply. Are the powers that be really too dim to see this basic logic? The Macpherson report was hugely damaging, insulting to police officers and totally wrong headed.

  9. Dominic
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I care not one jot what Honda do or do not do.

    Show me one sovereign nation outside of the moronic EU that agrees to sacrifice its independence and sovereignty to secure capital investments from a foreign source? I cannot think of one. Most nations fight hard to retain their independence even in the face of trying economic circumstances. It’s what proud nations do.

    If the EU zealots think they can use the economic argument to bribe people into embracing the EU and all of its shackles then they are deluded. There are far more important issues at stake.

    The UK is strong enough to stand on its own two economic feet. We can do this and also take back our democracy and legislative sovereignty from the authoritarian forces of the EU and of UK based Europhile zombies

    Our membership of the EU is a brake on what we can become.

    I do hope that our esteemed host is ensuring the security of our personal details now that this government and faux Tories like Collins (Media select committee) appear intent on monitoring of all sources of Brexit output

    Any chance of an article on how Parliamentary MPs on this committee seem determined to further those who express anti-EU views and other views Collins and his cronies find disagreeable?

    How close is the UK to becoming an authoritarian state?

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Here here!

  10. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Off topic with regard to Ms Begum’s passport. Why was this dual nationality trap not used on the hundreds of her comrades who have already returned to the UK? Who presumably have now gone underground to continue their war by other means?If they were not born overseas, like her, presumably they would still qualify because of where their parents came from. The papers are praising Mr Javid this morning, however I just see another closing of the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      I have read that Mr Javid wants to rewrite/introduce a treason law.

    • Andy
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      The Begum case is a difficult one – but one with a very clear outcome.

      She is British and she has to be allowed back.

      If she has committed an offence under British law she should be prosecuted for it, and should have her say in court.

      It is very easy for Javid to appease the frothing xenophobes by claiming whatever he likes.

      But we are a law abiding nation – and the very thing that differentiates us from the terrorists is that we do not scoop to their level. We are better than them. We prove that by treating them better than they would treat us. If you believe in an eye for an eye then you are no better than they are.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        She has joint citizenship. Her alternative country is closer to her current location than the UK. There’s every reason for her to return there.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        He had to put in the insult.

        We have a frothing xenophobe crisis and those making the news are called antisemites.

        Otherwise the British people have been the model of tolerance when faced with extreme provocation with many incidents over many decades.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:31 am | Permalink

        For once Andy I actually agree with you. Javid is surely wrong, the courts will probably overturn his decision at great public expense. Javid (one assumes May’s support) clearly want the UK to be the nasty party again and to break international laws for rather pathetic political reasons.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    The dire PM who last buried the Tory Party (Sir John (ERM) Major) has been talking his usual complete and utter drivel on Brexit. Attacking the “Zealots” in the ERG who merely want to respect the referendum and manifesto promises on Brexit and avoid May’s Vassal state agreement. Let us hope that T May does not repeat his destruction of the party. She is after all nearly as daft, socialist and misguided as John Major.

    The country is crying out of a real Tory party, real tax, real red tape cuts and a real Brexit and some vision & leadership.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      The country is crying out of a real Tory party

      You make the common mistake of pretending that everyone else thinks as you do.

  12. Sakara Gold
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Better still, could not the SMMT and some British entrepreneurs design and build an electric vehicle there? If a brash american like Elon Musk to it with his very attractive Tesla car, couldnt we do better?

    I think a British built EV would fly off the showrooms here!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      The technology is not really ready yet. Best to wait for better battery technology.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s close enough for city cars. Many people live in cities and only use their cars for short journeys each day. There should be some sort of pool of bigger combustion engine cars for when they want to go on longer runs.

  13. jerry
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I’ll refer readers to the comments I made yesterday regarding how ECVs fit into car production, what Swindon did, opposed to vehicle design done within R&D. A useful distraction from the real issues for management and politico alike.

    “It follows hard on the heels of Nissan’s decision to make one of its diesel cars only in Japan without adding a UK line”

    The model (X-Trail) not being very popular here in the UK, nor in the EU. Again this was not a ‘diesel issue’ and almost certainly not a Brexit issue.

    “I forecast particular difficulties for the UK car industry in 2017 when the Bank of England adopted a tough stance on car loans”

    Not sure why you bring the BoE into this, but as you have, surely the issue is not just the BoE policy on our debt crisis but the entire Govt’s economic policy, stop putting the cart before the horse and then blaming the cart for not pulling the horse along!

    As for the diesel debate, horrid things, but again the motorists faced with over taxed petrol looked to diesels, something that had been happening since the early 1980s, made worse by the crazy fuel duty escalator policy from Gordon Brown just to appease the eco-worriers, thus we lowered our harmless CO2 emissions but raised the harmful NOx instead.

    “It could get a contractor that supplies vehicles to the state and or does deep maintenance on public sector vehicles to undertake it there, for example.”

    Cough, the UK used to have such car plants, one not far away in Cowley (part of the BL/Rover Group), until your policy idea sold it to BAe back in the 1980s, the rest being history as they say…

    What goes around comes around, looks like some decisions from the 1980s on are doing just that, and biting back.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      +1

      Britain, the whore. Everything for sale, nothing sacred.

  14. Kevin
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    “Honda Europe is one of the casualties of the top down electrification policy pursued by the EU and UK governments.”

    So, I assume that that policy will be scrapped in order to protect jobs, because that was the implication when Brexit was thought to be the reason.

  15. Robert Branch
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    You always told us we’d be able to buy cars made here post Brexit. Remind us which cars are likely to be built here in 10 years time. The shame is that you’ve never had the honesty to admit there would be costs attached to your vanity project

  16. matthu
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    “We have to move very swiftly to electrification of vehicles, because of demand of our customers and legislation”.

    Demand from customers is illusionary! I would really love to see the evidence for that.

    It is much more likely that this move is being driven almost entirely by legislation and green lobbying. Green lobbying which is to a very large extent being funded by EU and government subsidy.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Would the EU/Japanese FTA have take place had we voted Remain ?

    • Andy
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      We could have vetoed it if we backed remain. In fact we still could have until we actual leave but I suspect even the Tories May have thought that would have been a bit mean spirited as we’re on the way out. What is does show is that our eye was not on the ball. A competent government would have known that this FTA and Brexit would mean Honda would go. Nissan and Toyota will go before long too. These are now perfectly evident costs of your Brexit. But none of you will admit it. Why not?

      • Edward2
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Err the trade deal was done whilst the UK was still a member.
        The right to veto trade deals is very limited.
        And next year under Lisbon Treaty we will have even less power to veto.
        Im always surprised how little real knowledge EU fans like you have.

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Get real! We get outvoted every time on such matters. Honda have clearly stated that the UK leaving the EU had no bearing on a decision made well before the referendum was called. EU policy, dutifully carried out by the Civil Service, is behind the move. The removal of import quotas in the trade deal means that they are no longer being blackmailed into producing cars in the EU.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          So would the EU have done this if we had voted to Remain in the EU ?

          That was my question.

          (I am a hard Brexiter.)

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Today, far too late, the headline to the Daily Telegraph editorial asks:

    “Why won’t the Government defend Brexit?”

    • William Long
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Answer: because it does not believe in it or want it to happen.
      At least though I am no longer faced with having to vote for Dr Wollaston if I want to vote Conservative in the next General Election.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:35 am | Permalink

        Because May is a remainer (and indeed a dire tax to death socialist). She clearly just wants a Brexit in name only. A pretend Brexit with non of the many advantages of a real Brexit.

  19. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Maybe, it is time to cover other important news , like the health of our 10 to 24 year olds, who are more likely to suffer from asthma and obesity than any other age group in Europe.

    This is our future and we need to look after them and the report does not give a good impression of the overall health of our younger generations.

    What are the best solutions and how do we bring them to the attention of the relevant authorities?

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you HCI – Don’t you think though that ‘the relevant authorities?’ are partly to blame; removing exercise from the curriculum; banning sports days and competitive events; not teaching proper home economics; poor quality school dinners (I’d like to compare obesity between those children on school meals and those who take a packed lunch); our children are weighed and measured from the day they are born and assessed whilst at school. We have a national health service where GPs are paid to look after them from cradle to grave. If a GP sees his patient periodically and can see that they have health and weight problems do they intervene with the parents? Instead of great big wide brush accusations about children’s diets they need to concentrate on those with problems.

      Similarly, with asthma, I would assume there is an asthma register in each Health area and if significant increases in childhood asthma affected certain GP clinics it would press a pressure to act button to the relevant authority. I know a guy who suffered from terrible asthma problems, he smoked from being a teenager – finally in his mid-30’s he saw the light and stopped smoking his asthma is better now. How many children with asthma have parents, grandparents who smoke in the home?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      How could that ever have happened with us in the EU? I guess it has only happened since Brexit forced them to visit the chip shop at lunch time, and drink awful stuff.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      hans

      Do you never do any research

      Eurostat Report

      The age group 18 to 24 years presented the lowest shares of overweight population in the EU

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Surely a bad decision by Javid, the Home Office and supported by May one assumes over Shamima Begum. But then this dire, visionless government gets nearly everything wrong.

    Also the Telegraph claims that – THERESA MAY is considering bringing forward a vote on her Brexit deal to next week in a bid to see off the threat of resignations by pro-European ministers and an predicts an EU break through is in sight.

    Doubtless the EU breakthrough will be little of real value.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Lots more tax payers money for Lawyers no doubt will follow.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I understand that there are technicalities and that she will be allowed in with the other 400. (And put to the head of the queue for many services)

      May we, for once, (JUST FOR ONCE !) be credited with being a tolerant and sensible people ? They are trying to disenfranchise us on the entirely false premise that we aren’t.

      Despite provocations we remain just.

      The anti semites are the ones causing political splits at the moment.

  21. Caterpillar
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The average age of are on UK roads is lower than EU, and diesel age is currently 2 years lower than petrol. With about 32m cars and age of 8 years UK needs about 400000 new per year, drifting up 2 years and that will be 80000 fewer per year. With the change to electric and battery lives stretching out over 10 years then this might change further. I think the road to zero needs to be clearer to us public to give more confidence e.g. rollout of infrastructure (night time power clarity), battery reverse logistics, tariffs on EVs compared with combustion.

  22. Mark Hodgson
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Regarding the suggestion that the Honda site be used to supply vehicles to the state, why not make Motability vehicles there? The Motability scheme seems to be greatly abused these days, and many “Motability” cars seem to be massive gas-guzzling German vehicles.

    Why not have a specific vehicle for Motability use, made here in the UK?

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    So when it is discovered that electric cars are also/ more polluting will the cost of all the lost jobs be worth it?

    Not that any government cares anyway. Why do they fret about pollution when they are happy to inflict the misery of uncertainty and unemployment on people?

    Fairy tales were written as warnings. Today we have “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
    Why did the tailors want the Emperor to believe them? To make money!

    What does any politician think they actually know about pollution? Only what they are told!!

  24. Caterpillar
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    And for battery fab and chemical industry in UK see for example University of Warwick report https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_report_says/

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    How typical yesterday to hear politicians shedding crocodile tears over the closure of the Honda plant when their own actions were the main drivers in bringing it about.

  26. Caterpillar
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    times 10 (dropped a zero)

  27. Richard Jenkins
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    It was ever thus. I joined Ford in 1967 and set about building a mathematical model of the car market and Ford’s share. A senior manage commented “You tell me what the purchase tax will be and I’ll tell you what the market will be”.

  28. Everhopeful
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Rushing to get involved militarily with the EU our oh so wise govts set about destroying our army.

    Here the garrison was sold of for housing.

    Very similar effect to shutting down a factory.

    Shops shut. Police gone. Crime rises. The council continues the destruction with crazy,unworkable schemes all straight out of Brussels.

    The MP to his credit has realised his tenuous position and has actually started e mailing his constituents.

    Too late!

  29. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    If only you had all bought BRITISH made cars! Honda make great cars but, no, you just HAD to own a BMW or Audi or Volkswagen or Ford or Vauxhall or Mercedes or Volvo or Skoda or Seat or Fiat or Alfa or Citroen or Renault or Peogeot etc.
    Shame on you all.
    We could have a huge car industry if you all bought UK made cars from Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Mike, JLR every time for me. Support British jobs not German or French.

  30. oldwulf
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Presumably, the Japan/EU free trade agreement will mean that the companies of one, will not need to maintain a manufacturing base in the other. They will be driven (no pun intended) by non-tariff considerations.

    I would guess that Honda might be hoping for a Brexit transitional period until 2020 ?

  31. Alastair Harris
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Should the government be pursuing electric cars? Perhaps in the not too distant future electric will be Betamax and hydrogen will be like VHS. Surely better to let the market decide. Government has a track record of wasting our money on white elephants.

  32. formula57
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I see from Reuters that the Ford Motor Company announced yesterday that it was not only closing its oldest manufacturing plant in Brazil but was also withdrawing from commercial vehicle production in South America. Reuters did not refer to whether Ford acted because of or despite Brexit so I resile from laying blame.

    We do need a government that does right and supports the car industry though. That could happen, shown by the truly astonishing example of the Home Secretary acting as would a decent, commonsense-laden person by withdrawing British citizenship from that ISIS operative. Has Mr. Javid become a semi-detached member of the government through this proper action since he is clearly out-of-step with the usual weak and vacillating crowd?

  33. MickN
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Speculation is rife that Mrs Sourbry is about to jump ship to join Chukka’s now magnificent 8. Could you implore her to take Messrs Grieve, Hammond and Boles with her please. Thank you.

    • MickN
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Excellent news now confirmed. From a personal perspective I am happy that I no longer have to watch Mrs Sourbry interviewed ad nauseum in the media and seeing her introduced as a Conservative. In the honourable fashion of Messrs Reckless and Carswell I am looking forward to watching the outcome of the forthcoming bye elections.

      • DennisA
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        For Mrs Soubry it will indeed be a Byeee election

        • Mark B
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Anna Soubry MP wanted our kind host and others kicked out of the party. All because they committed the terrible crime of wanting to keep their promises to the electorate.

  34. James
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government will explore alternative uses for the Honda factory . . .”

    The best thing the government can do is just get out of the way. JUST GET OUT OF THE WAY. The Business and Industry Secretary of State should be sacked, and the whole department shut down, along with the immediate shutting down of several other government departments, and numerous other public sector activities that simply disrupt production with their interfering nonsense.

  35. cynic
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Electric cars are in the same category as windmills and solar panels, not viable without government subsidy.

  36. acorn
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Is it ironic that most vehicle assembly towns voted to leave the EU? I think Oxford (BMW mini), was the only one that voted to remain.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps perceptive rather than ironic. These companies have hardly been jumping over to France to produce their newer electric models, so the EU is irrelevant apart from giving grants to sway production to Slovakia etc. Not what these people want.

      • acorn
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        France produces 5 times as many electric vehicles as the UK. Germany produces 15 times more than the UK. Even the Netherlands produces 12 times as many.

        BTW. I suspect, but hope you are not, dependent on a UK state pension or a private sector defined benefit pension. If you are, a no-deal Brexit is the last thing you need; but, it will be what you voted for.

  37. Iain Gill
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Europe is going to reduce tariffs on cars made in Japan, obviously significantly reduces the incentives for any car maker to make cars in Europe. It will only lead to mass move of production back to Japan.

    So all a product of the undemocratic deals done behind the scenes by our masters, and nothing to do with the quality of the British workforce.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Well even if democratic, the fact that the EU can technically do trade deals to unilaterally prevent the sale of predominantly British goods, but has no mechanism for compensating us for that is crazy.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        if you think thats bad you should see the deals they are doing with India…

  38. a-tracy
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    John, Phillip Hammond needs to decide what types of cars we are all expected to buy to avoid his punishing taxes. We don’t all live in London with the excellent public transportation system at all times, day, evening and even some night services.

    We need more DLR systems.

    If Japan is pulling out of the UK are other car marks interested in taking up their space? This is what Liam Fox’s department should be focused on. Finding us alternatives that our heavily taxing Chancellor wants moving forward.

  39. JOHN FINN
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    From selling 311,000 cars at the peak in 2007, last year it sold just 136,000.

    Does the 136,000 include the 50,000 plus that are sold in the UK. If so, then it’s even more unlikely that Honda have based their decision on Brexit given that European sales are only a tiny fraction of worldwide sales and cars from Japan won’t be completely tariff free until 2027

  40. Atlas
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hmm, Sir John – you could have added our inability to generate enough electricity to power them also casts doubt on the “dash for electric”.

    I suspect many who advocate electric cars don’t really understand the engineering basics, ie Volts, Amps and Power demand…

  41. Mick
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    So sourbry Wollaston Allen have gone before they are deselected, like all defectors they should put it to a by-Election but they won’t because there all cowards to do so

  42. margaret howard
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    BBC What the papers say:

    There are different views expressed about whether or not Honda’s decision to close its car plant in Swindon is linked to Brexit.

    The Guardian says the carmaker is being “too polite” when it says the closure is not Brexit-related – and quotes the company’s previous warnings about the impact of Britain leaving the EU.

    In its leader, the Financial Times says to deny that Brexit was a factor would be “grossly short-sighted and irresponsible”.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      No surprise from those two sources.
      Spinning for Remain and the EU.
      Presumably they refuse to accept Honda’s statement.

  43. DaveM
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, a genuine question – unrelated to today’s post – what are the regulations for by-elections where voters are represented by MPs who no longer stand on an election manifesto? I want to know because if it was my local MP leaving a party because they didn’t agree with the manifesto they were elected on and which I voted for, I would want a different MP. I.e., a by election.

    • hefner
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      see Recall of MP Act 2015. If the MP has not been condemned, there is very little one as a constituent can do apart from waiting for the next General Election.

  44. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Completely off topic but hopefully now that Ms Soubry, Wollaston and Allen are no longer part of the ruling party they will cease to get any exposure for their EU fundamentalist views.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Narrow Shoulders

      ” EU fundamentalist views.”

      EU fundamentalist views? You mean the views of over 16m people who voted remain against the 17m leavers?

      • Edward2
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Read the leaflet.
        “This is your decision We will implement what you decide”
        Remain or Leave was our choice.
        On a constituency vote there would be a Leave Party majority of over 150 in Parliament

  45. ChrisS
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see the back of Wollaston, Soubry and Allen.
    The Conservative party is well shot of all three of them. They neither represent the views of their voters, their local conservative association or the party in the country.

    Wollaston in particular had a duty to represent the voters of all parties who chose her as the Conservative candidate for Totnes in an open ballot. The electorate in her constituency voted 54.1% in favour of Brexit so she has been totally at odds with those that elected her.

    The only thing the eleven deserters seem to have in common is a desire for a second referendum which, hopefully is never going to happen.

    Nothing less than political oblivion awaits all eleven at the next election.

  46. Ian wragg
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The supreme irony of Sourberry, Allen and woolaston saying that the ERG was acting as a party within a party when they are only respecting the result of the referendum and manifesto.
    They should join the limp dumbs. I bet they don’t prompt a bye election so we can have a peoples vote.

  47. Lester Beedell
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Be careful what you wish for, the EU has had a very damaging effect on many of them and indeed, many have been bribed to move to the Continent by over generous grants, the sooner we leave the better!

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Yes – We all know how the EU doesn’t refrain from involving itself in local politics, and they certainly know how to distort markets to get the effects they want – It seems pretty clear that it’s EU policies against non-German or non-French car makers that have worked against Honda.

  48. Stephen Reay
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    We will soon know if Nissan has the full confidence of the UK. The Nissan Note and Juke are up for replacement very shortly and if the decision is not to place them at the Sunderland plant then the game is up.

    Nissan produces the Infinite at Sunderland but it’s high quality and very low volume and hasn’t been taken up by the U.K market. Its main volume cars are the sucessful Qashqai, Note and Juke .

    Even though Nissan has recently invested in new and replacement machines for Press and Plastics shops not forgetting the Paint shop extension they could quite easliy pull the plug if the ecomonics didn’t add up. Once you’ve taken out the main assets such as tooling ,presses and robots there’s very little worthwhile assets remaining.

    Nissan could simply runout the Qashqai and then close, we’ll just have to wait and see. I remember when I worked in one of Nissan plants in Japan , it had a brand new paint shop that hadn’t been used and was mothballed , once Carlos Coshen came in he closed this plant and others to sell off the land and reduce Nissans debts and save the company.

  49. agricola
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I get the impression from the Anna Soubry press conference that she has assumed the divine right to ignore the wishes of 17.4 million of the electorate who voted to leave the EU. Mother knows best so you will obey. The three try to make the ERG group the guilty party in the room to justify their action, but the ERG are the only group in Parliament who are supportive of those 17.4 million voters, the rest are ambivalent to say the least.

    • Richard
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      “There is no plan for no deal, because we’re going to get a great deal” – Boris the Buffoon.
      The ERG Moggites still have no published plan. Try getting 17.4 million votes second time around.

  50. Stred
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    We import far more cars from the EU than we sell to them. Just put a 20% tariff on cars and zero on parts. Make UK Hondas, Vauxhalls, Nissans, Toyotas, Jags and Landrovers with Ford and Jag engines. Put off the dash for electric until they work. Do a zero tariff deal with Trump and sell them lots of Jags and Rollers. Sell the same number of cars and keep the factories. Stuff the rest.

  51. A.Sedgwick
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Are you not in favour of hydrogen fuel cell cars?

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      How do you make the hydrogen cheaply?

  52. Den
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Hmm!The phasing out of fossil fuels again causing problems for the ordinary people..
    It should make us all wonder and be very concerned that the Political actions taken and the Laws made in the name of “Ecology”, which normally entail a loss of British jobs and therefore earnings but amazingly, an increases in Household costs, are never first put to public debate and then possibly to lead on to a National Referendum. Especially when they are either omitted from the elected governing Party’s Manifesto or actually contradict the same manifesto promises.
    If Britain is to regain true democracy such provisos would be a huge step in the right direction.

  53. Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Batteries are probably not the way to go, to start with the product needed is quite rare,
    Lithium will get more and more expensive.
    While we are about going Green, the best limitless product is without doubt , Hydrogen .
    It is the most prolific element know to man.
    Batteries are very expensive, how will we generate all this electricity to charge up all these batteries, every DAY, and just what will you use as fuel to do it ?

    Honda has a car called Clarity. It was on trials in Southern California.

    No pollution what so ever, The by product coming out of the tail pipe is only water, what is not to like.
    Back in the 60s Raymond Baxter, on Tomorrow’s World, was at Cal Tech, where students were getting Hydrogen from water by running an electric current through water, to release the Hydrogen.
    No one was interested in that then, no one saw a problem with diesel or petrol ?
    With your contacts, you might like to ask Honda if they are looking to roll out this car?
    They might like to make it here ?

    • Stred
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Ian. You need even more electricity to make hydrogen than you do using batteries. Then you have to transport it without it leaking. It leaks easily because it’s a small atom.

  54. Mick
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    The Recall of MPs Act 2015 introduced a process by which an MP can lose their seat in the House of Commons if there is a successful petition to recall them.
    The Act sets out the conditions for triggering a recall petition and the procedures that must be followed in running a petition. The Act also introduces rules which govern people and organisations who campaign for or against a recall petition.
    The constituents of all the mps who have resigned should get together and recall them and have a by-election if the mp is to chicken to call it themselves

    • mancunius
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Any petition under the Recall of MPs Act 2005 (Section 1) needs to meet one of three conditions:
      1) conviction (sentence of imprisonment)
      2) suspension from the House
      3) having been found to have given false or misleading information regarding expenses claims

      I can’t see any applicability here. Their local constituencies are already moving to deselect them, but nobody can force them to present themselves at a by-election.

    • hefner
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      You might want to read the Act first. Without a custodial sentence having been pronounced against the MP, your chance of even been able to start the recall process is zero.

  55. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Modern diesel cars are fine in the country but not in cities. Could the answer not be diesel/electric hybrid cars, with a combination of a scrappage scheme and careful regulation to establish their place in the market?

    • Mark
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      The problem with diesel cars in cities is largely a figment of statistical manipulation.

      Please search for

      Mortality from diesel car pollution in the UK

      from Euan Mearns’ site – which debunks the nonsense claims.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Pollution in cities isn’t caused by cars especially new cars.
      Buses, Trains, Coaches, Lorries,Taxis, Motorbikes, Scooters, Building Site equipment, Diesel generators, BBQs, Log Burning Stoves, Bonfires, Furnaces and industrial ovens used by industry and central heating boilers create the vast majority of pollution.
      Yet cars are the ones being attacked by grandstanding politicians based on dodgy statistics.

      • Stred
        Posted February 21, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        5% was the estimate for NO2 from diesel cars.

  56. Sayagain
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    For you bunch of die-hard sceptics reality is drawing near..the cliff edge beckons and then we can all have a good look at things in the weeks and months post 29 march. My guess is that it won’t be a pretty sight, there will be no new trade deals lined up with new partners in the Pacific and overseas, truth is very quickly we will have to go crawling back..please sir..so am looking forward to seeing this and waiting for the lame excuses and reactions from the chief promoters of this pending disaster. J R-M will be first on my list to watch followed by Boris and then JR himself..taking back control indeed

    • Edward2
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious you remain supporters
      Cliff edge
      Catastrophe
      Disaster
      Come crawling back.
      Statements thrown out without any analysis.
      Just more Project Fear predictions.

      • Richard
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        As hilarious as your lies that got us here in the first place and your non existent plan.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Lies from remain and their Project Fear already seen to have not come true.
          Where was the plan to remain?
          UK soon having the Euro
          Common tax and budgetary control
          Armed force
          Further ecpansion to 35 natìons
          Reduced veto powers
          Increased open border immigration
          Increased Qualified Majority Voting.
          Greatly increased liability for bailing out EU nations
          Common foriegn policIncresing annual membership costs.
          All never mentioned by Remain
          Wonder why?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Whatever happens we will be a free and independent nation once more. And anyway, we have been through far worse than this.

  57. Mark
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see much demand for EVs, even while they are subsidised for purchase, and attract much lower taxes on their fuel and VED. Much of the demand that exists seems to be from those who like to make a virtue signalling statement and can afford to do so, like the gentleman I encountered who said his family had two EVs for city driving – and two diesels for the longer haul stuff.

    Sales of EVs seem to collapse when subsidies are withdrawn, and that is before governments start taxing them to make good revenue they will lose if they start driving other vehicles off the streets. They are not going to become a widespread voluntary choice without significant improvements in battery performance, the routes to which are expensive.

    The change to electric cars is being driven by politicians and bureaucrats, with scant regard for whether it is even feasible at scale. Batteries require a significant cobalt content – an element that is mainly mined by the Chinese in the Congo, and where supply is forecast to become very tight should production start ramping up. It will be a constraint on battery production. Likewise, the lack of forethought on the necessary charging infrastructure will prove a significant impediment to wider adoption.

  58. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    It really antiquated to think people should still be making cars in 2019. There are such more worthwhile things they can be doing with their time? When will these factories be more automated with robots?

    • Edward2
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      People build cars because millions of people want the best form of individual transport.
      Factories are increasingly automated and some are fully automated but if you have many clever new ideas for making them even better get going and start your own business.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 4:20 am | Permalink

      They are very automated already. Some plants needing less than thirty man hours of work per car produced.

    • Jagman84
      Posted February 21, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Can I assume that you’ve never set foot inside an automotive manufacturing facility? If you had, you’d not be making such a ludicrous statement.

  59. BR
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    As usual the mainstream media filtered out the news that Toyota are starting to make the Corolla in the UK.

    It’s only the world’s best-selling model.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Strange – I thought Toyota stopped making the Corolla years ago. I remember a model called the Corolla – back in the 70s (or 80s?) – that had a reputation for simply going on forever. Did they stop making them and is the latest one a completely new model? I.e. Has there been a big gap in the use of the name ‘Corolla’ – or am I getting mixed up with another model?

  60. Davek
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May says the talks were constructive..code for waste of time.
    She’s still talking about changes to the WA..an absolute waste of time..the EU are not going to budge whatever happens they have to protect the SM as they see it. If there is a no deal brexit then there will be a very hard border in Ireland..and in this case the EU will ensure there will also be a very hard border in the Channel ports..it’s as serious as that

  61. Edwardm
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I agree with your synopsis of the situation. Rapid changes in government policy and taxation have exacerbated the downsides. From diesel good to diesel bad much faster than sunk investment can be repaid or that a major development/manufacturing cycle can respond: = don’t do business here.

  62. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Why does business not tell these politicians to stop playing political games? The answer is because small to medium size business do not have TMs ear like the monopoly crony capitalists do. Same on the BBC, the BBC claims to speak for “business” and tells us what “business thinks” but they mean big business, huge business, yet do not small to middle size business contribute more?

  • 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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