Liberal Democrats in South Gloucestershire have had their say after Honda confirmed rumours that its Swindon plant will close, costing 3500 jobs.
Claire Young, Lib Dem candidate for Thornbury and Yate and South Glos Liberal Democrat Group leader, says:
“Brexit has helped deliver another devastating blow for industry in the South West. Our thoughts have to be with the 3500 workers concerned about their futures today, and also for all of those working for suppliers and other businesses reliant on Swindon Honda who are now in a precarious position. This is not about cars or manufacturing, it’s about people’s lives including workers living in South Gloucestershire.
“Brexit has become so politically toxic for business that we have seen yet another large closure justified this morning as ‘not a Brexit-related issue’, when we know that simply isn’t true. Decisions about large investments are never driven by one issue alone, but to say Brexit has not altered the equation of whether UK industry is a good investment is ridiculous.”
Louise Harris, candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke who has been campaigning on the future of Airbus in Filton, adds:
“In 2016 Arron Banks’ dodgy Brexit campaign Leave.EU tweeted a graphic featuring eight giants of manufacturing in the UK with a message not to worry about them leaving after Brexit. The news from Honda means that five of them have now announced major closures or issued warnings about moving, including Airbus which employs 3000 people in my constituency.
“Not featured are Dyson and Jaguar Land Rover, but they have also both made headlines after announcing major closures or moves abroad. All of it takes jobs and investment abroad leaving the UK as the sick man of Europe once again.
“There is an opportunity to stop the rot that Brexit is causing throughout our economy, but time is running short. We must not let a Conservative party hell-bent on Brexit at any cost leave the British people poorer. Conservatives used to be the party of business, but business is voting with its feet.”