‘No-deal would be a disaster,’ says Ford boss

PUBLISHED: 11:49 16 October 2018

Ford's Europe boss has warned of the consquences of a hard Brexit
Photo: PA / Sean Dempsey

Ford's Europe boss has warned of the consquences of a hard Brexit Photo: PA / Sean Dempsey

PA Archive/PA Images

Ford’s European boss has warned of the “disastrous” impact of a no-deal Brexit.

The motoring giant told Theresa May that crashing out of the European Union could leave the firm with no choice but to reconsider its “future investment” in the UK.

Steven Armstrong, Ford’s group vice president, said a hard Brexit was a “red line” for his company.

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He said in a statement: “It could severely damage the UK’s competitiveness and result in a significant threat to much of the auto industry, including our own UK manufacturing operations.

“While we think this is a worst-case scenario and that a UK-EU deal will be reached, we will take whatever action is necessary to protect our business in the event of a hard Brexit.

“It’s vital that any UK-EU deal maintains frictionless trade, and we know from our own experience that a Canada-style deal will not deliver a seamless UK-EU border.

“We export engines and import vehicles under the current EU-Canada deal and there are significant customs and border checks at both ends. If this was introduced for all UK-EU trade, the level of congestion and blockages at the ports would undermine our just-in-time manufacturing system.”

Speaking to the BBC he added that a no-deal outcome would “force us to think about what our future investment strategy for the UK would be”.

Ford has factories in Dagenham, Bridgend and Merseyside.

If the UK is to remain competitive, any UK-EU trade deal must ensure guaranteed frictionless trade so that industry can plan for the longer term, he added.

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