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Analysis

Car plants and drug trials on hold. Thanks Brexiters!

by Luke Lythgoe | 03.10.2018

Brexit is six months away, but many big decisions will need to be made much sooner. With no solutions in sight, there’s more reason than ever for organisations to warn loudly against Brexit chaos. Here are five.

Car crash for motor manufacturing

BMW has said it would move Mini production out of the UK in the event of a hard Brexit. The company is already planning to suspend production immediately after Brexit to safeguard against economic turmoil, with Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota suggesting similar shutdowns. Toyota has said Brexit will affect its investment decisions, while Vauxhall’s boss warned of “dramatic consequences” for the manufacturer in the UK if free trade between with the EU was hit by Brexit.

‘New wave of industrial carnage’ for Wales

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones warned of a “new wave of industrial carnage” at this year’s Labour conference. He announced £6 million of grants for Ford, Toyota and Airbus to help these big Wales-based businesses cope with technical and commercial advice, and to continue attracting EU workers. It’s money that should be spent boosting the Welsh economy, not just on damage limitation.

Demand a vote on the Brexit deal

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Heart drug trials skipping a beat

Clinical trials for a new heart drug have been stopped in the UK because of Brexit. Medical research firm Recardio was due to try the drug dutogliptin on patients in Clydebank, Leeds and Exeter. The California-based firm wants to establish whether it can be used to help repair tissue after a heart attack. The company said Brexit “uncertainty” and the “completely unresolved” issues around the UK’s relationship with the European Medicines Agency represented “a significant risk” to its business. Trials are going ahead in other EU countries instead.

Lights out in Northern Ireland

This is a real possibility for Northern Ireland if we crash out with no deal, according to leaked government documents. Northern Ireland’s energy market is likely to collapse in a no-deal scenario, because there will be no basis for its “single electricity market” with the Republic and it might take two years before it could draw power supplies from the sole electricity link to Great Britain. That could mean relying on electricity generators (one idea is to float them over on a flotilla of barges). Energy prices could shoot up by £200 a year, energy companies could collapse and the government could be forced to take the sector into public ownership.

Two weeks of road chaos

Operation Brock, the government’s Brexit contingency plans to manage lorry traffic in Kent, would take 14 days to implement if there was a no-deal Brexit, according to Highways England. It would require steel barriers to make a planned contraflow system on the M20 safe for ordinary vehicles. That could mean road chaos until mid-April, and misery for the people and businesses of Kent.

No one voted for any of this back in 2016. If the public don’t like how Brexit is shaping up, they need a People’s Vote and the chance to say thanks, but no thanks, Brexiters.

See our previous round-up of the toll Brexit is taking here.

Edited by James Pritchard

One Response to “Car plants and drug trials on hold. Thanks Brexiters!”

  • So will any of the Welsh, or that idiosyncratic DUP which props up the present crash-bound government, now vote remain to keep the lights on in Northern Ireland? Or Airbus and car-makers be given the opportunity to keep producing in the UK? I am rather sceptical about that occasionally stumbling over the tabloid induced Brexit mutterings on the Internet.