Umunna – Toyota comments show importance of Single Market & Customs Union membership

The Government’s attitude to Brexit is raising question marks about Toyota’s investment in Britain, the company’s executive vice president said today.

Speaking at the Frankfurt car show, Didier Leroy said: “A few months ago the UK government was saying, 'We're sure we'll be able to negotiate (a deal) without any trade tax.' They are not saying that any more.”

He added: “It's clear that if we have to wait two to three more years to have a clarity on this topic, we will have a big question-mark about our future investment in the country.”

Toyota employs around 4,000 workers in the UK, predominantly at its plant near Derby. 

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“Toyota employs thousands of people in this country and it is extremely worrying that they are becoming increasingly exasperated with the Government’s shambolic attitude to negotiations.

“Ministers used to promise exporters that after Brexit they would enjoy the ‘exact same benefits’ as Single Market and Customs Union membership. But as the Brexit talks flounder and reality starts to bite, they’re facing up to the fact that their plans for a destructive hard Brexit will make us less attractive to investors and damage our economy.

“To retain vital investment and protect jobs, the Government desperately needs to reverse its ideological choice to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union.”

/ends

Notes to editors:

Mr Leroy’s remarks are reported here: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/09/12/business/12reuters-autoshow-frankfurt-toyota-eu.html?partner=IFTTT

During the EU referendum campaign, Leavers claimed that the UK car industry would “thrive” after Brexit: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/682114/british-car-industry-thrive-outside-eu-brexit-ford-aston-martin-mike-hawes-andy-palmer