Carmaker Jaguar says ‘bad Brexit’ would mean it could not stay in UK

Women with umbrellas are seen during the Jaguar and Land Rover press event during the 2015 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, New York, USA, 01 April 2015. [EPA/JUSTIN LANE]

Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said on Wednesday (4 July) a so-called “hard Brexit” would cost it 1.2 billion pounds (€1.36 billion) a year, curtailing its future operations in the United Kingdom.

“We urgently need greater certainty to continue to invest heavily in the UK and safeguard our suppliers, customers and 40,000 British-based employees,” JLR’s Chief Executive Ralf Speth said in a statement.

Speth’s comments come ahead of a meeting this Friday between Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet ministers to decide on strategy for Britain to negotiate its way out of the European Union, ending a 40-year trading relationship.

Because of uncertainty about what Britain actually wants from the EU after it leaves, the outcome of the cabinet meeting is seen as critical to progress in talks with the EU on the issue.

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With little more than a year to go before Britain leaves the European Union, many British manufacturers are stepping up their calls for Prime Minister Theresa May and her government to explain what Brexit will mean for them.

Growing criticism

Recent weeks have seen criticism of the government by some of the biggest companies operating in Britain.

Airbus and Siemens last week went public with their fears about what leaving the EU customs union and single market would mean for their business.

JLR has joined the fray, saying the group needed “free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market.”

“A bad Brexit deal would cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2 billion in profit each year. As a result, we would have to drastically adjust our spending profile; we have spent around £50 billion in the UK in the past five years – with plans for a further £80 billion more in the next five,” Speth said in a statement.

“This would be in jeopardy should we be faced with the wrong outcome.”

Brexit to decide future of Japanese car industry in the UK

Japanese car manufacturers with most of their production sites in the UK will lose access to the single market following Brexit, and are consequently threatening to leave. reports.

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