Brexit Boost: Supercar Manufacturer ‘Born and Bred’ in UK to Stay No Matter What

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The CEO of British supercar manufacturer McLaren has insisted Brexit will not stop the iconic marque from succeeding — and it will stay in the United Kingdom where it was “born and bred”.

“If you look six months, twelve months down the line, I think we can be equally successful whether Brexit happens or it doesn’t, so I’m not worried about that,” said Mike Flewitt, in an interview with CNBC at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore.

“We’ve grown up in Woking, we’ve grown the talent base, our workforce is there, and fundamentally McLaren is the people who work there — so we couldn’t just shift it somewhere else,” he insisted, ruling out any move from the automaker’s current home in Surrey, south-west England.

“Manufacturing is a part of what we do, but we build 5,000 cars a year; you only need one manufacturing location for 5,000 cars a year, it would be uneconomic to do anything else,” he explained.

“So we’ve started and grown in the UK, and staying in the UK is the most logical, the most commercially sensible thing for us to do; we’re a UK company born and bred, since 1963, in fact, if we go back all the way,” he promised, adding that morale at the company “is really good; the automotive company is growing very strongly year on year. 2018 was a record, 2019 we’re doing even better. Our cars are getting five-star reviews around the world, and everybody likes to be part of a success story, so people are really proud of that… morale’s very good and confidence is high.”

Flewitt did suggest that McClaren were concerned about possible disruption to supply chains in the event of a clean, no-deal break with the EU — although he described the potential impact as “short-term” — but stressed that the real issue was not so much no-deal trade terms in and of themselves but the fact that businesses are still in the dark about whether they are looking at a no-deal Brexit, a negotiated Brexit, or no Brexit at all with just days to go until the current October 31st deadline.

Similar comments have been made by Nigel Wonnacott of Brittany Ferries, who has been clear that No Deal does not present any serious issues and that even a single week would “absolutely” be enough time to prepare for it — but the issue is that three years on from the 2016 vote for Brexit there is still no clarity as to whether or not the United Kingdom will even leave the EU, thanks in large part to the efforts of Remain-voting politicians who never accepted (or only pretended to accept) the result of the referendum and have been working to undermine or outright overturn it ever since.

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