BMW Has No Plans to Move Production from UK Due to Brexit

BMW Mini
ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty

German car manufacturing giant BMW is not considering moving its production out of the UK because of Brexit, one of the firm’s board members has confirmed.

The statement, from Ian Robertson, contradicts claims by the pro-Brussels paper the Financial Times earlier this week, that BMW was following Airbus and threatening to slash production in Britain because of Brexit uncertainty.

Asked by a reporter at a conference if BMW were “actively considering” moving production out of the country due to uncertainty over the future trade relationships with the bloc, Mr Robertson said: “No we’re not.”

According to City AM, he added: “We are committed to our operations in the UK, our workforce here.”

However, on Monday, BMW customs manager Stephan Freismuth was quoted as saying: “We always said we can do our best and prepare everything, but if at the end of the day the supply chain will have a stop at the border, then we cannot produce our products in the UK.”

The firm factories in Swindon, Hams Hal, and Oxford employ around 6,300 people making BMW engines and Mini cars.

Mr. Robertson claimed the comments were taken out of context and Mr Freismuth was, in fact, discussing possible supply chain complications that could result in production delays at factories.

The claims in the Financial Times were widely criticised by Brexiteers as a return of “project fear” designed to scare the UK into not leaving the EU with a “no deal” if given a poor trade deal offer.

At the end of last week, Airbus appeared to anticipate their intervention would be perceived as an attempt to keep the UK tied to the EU’s Customs Union and trade regulations, denying they were pushing “Project Fear” in a press release.

Brexit leader Nigel Farge has suggested the move by Airbus was politically motivated and pointed out the firm took large amounts of cash from the EU.

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