BMW executive says would shut United Kingdom plants if Brexit hits supply chain

29 Juin, 2018, 13:45 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • BMW Inaugurates New Production Line in Leipzig

BMW's customs manager has warned the company "cannot" manufacture its products in the United Kingdom if Brexit means its supply chain is disrupted.

But he said BMW would be forced to invest in new customs systems by late summer if there was no clarity on the UK's trading relationship with the EU.

"This is what we can achieve when we are unfettered but the industry has to make long-term decisions and the positive figures generated today are the result of investments made many years ago", he said.

The warning from BMW follows on from Airbus saying it would be forced to leave the United Kingdom if Brexit makes the company uncompetitive.

"What we don't want to see is any delays or impediments that stop that", said Robertson. We're planning in terms of scenarios.

"We are working with the sector to put the United Kingdom at the forefront of new automotive technologies to ensure we remain the destination of choice for future investment", he said.

"We would have to start to think about how our trucks are going to be managed at the border and how our stocks are going to be stored around our factories", Mr Robertson said.

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"That is a decisive issue that ultimately could damage this industry". "I can tell you, I have never heard one that says there's a value in customs".

But the SNP's Europe spokesman at Westminster, Peter Grant, said: "In less than a week we have heard a succession of grave Brexit warnings raised by Airbus, BMW, and today, the UK's auto manufacturers and dealers body, over the detrimental impact the United Kingdom government's hard Brexit plans will have on jobs and their future in the country".

Uncertainty around the UK's exit from the European Union is "thwarting" investment, the organisation claimed, threatening the sector.

Ian Robertson, the boss of BMW of the United Kingdom branch has cleared his intention of receiving a green signal by the time the summer ends.

He said: "The UK is an industrialised, very strong R&D supported economy, and there is flexibility in moving toward the future of the industry".

This is BMW's starkest statement yet over the future of its United Kingdom operations, which include four manufacturing facilities: the Mini factory in Oxford, the Rolls Royce factory in Goodwood, an engine plant in Hams Hall and a metal pressing facility in Swindon.

At the end of last week, Airbus appeared to anticipate their intervention would be perceived as an attempt to keep the United Kingdom tied to the EU's Customs Union and trade regulations, denying they were pushing "Project Fear" in a press release.

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