Aston Martin CEO: Carmaker Prepared for No Deal, May’s Brexit Negotiations ‘Laughable’

Aston Martin
Christopher Furlong/Getty

The CEO of Aston Martin says the iconic marque has planned for a No Deal Brexit, and branded Theresa May’s negotiations with the European Union “laughable”.

Andy Palmer said leaving the bloc without a deal was not preferable, but that the James Bond-linked carmaker believes “we know how we would cope with No Deal. We’ve planned for that.”

The industrialist did not pull his punches on the failure of Theresa May’s negotiations with the bloc, which resulted in a “deal” which did not actually produce a new relationsip with the EU, but merely an extended “transition” for more negotiations in which Britain would retain all the obligations of an EU member-state with none of the representation, in exchange for a so-called “divorce bill” running into the tens of billions of pounds.

Mrs May also agreed that “backstop” arrangement would come into force if the transition failed to produce a final deal, in which the EU would retain control over huge swathes of Britain’s trade, state aid, and regulatory policy — and that this arrangement could be indefinite in duration and the British government unable to end it without the EU’s permission.

Mr Palmer said the way the Remainer-dominated Governmnet had hashed out its negotiating strategy in public was “not very bright”, praising the hard-nosed EU negotiators who boasted that Mrs May’s deal would have “turned [Britain] into a colony”, as was “our plan from the first moment”.

Mr Palmer was even firmer on the subject of Aston Martin’s preparedness for Brexit towards the end of 2018, telling the BBC that the company was “impervious” to the supposed threat of No Deal disruption.

“If a tariff barrier went in place it would even itself out, and we would probably benefit from a weaker pound,” he explained.

“We import and export cars everywhere – we know how to export and get across borders.”

Aston Martin did in fact activate its No Deal contingency plans in January, ahead of the promised Brexit date of March 29th which Mrs May later aborted — the first of two delays to Brexit which she oversaw before her premiership unravelled.

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