GMB calls for Government to lay out road map for Ford Bridgend post Brexit 6 Mar 2018

If the Government thinks that the panacea to all of our Brexit worries is to rely on the US, they need to think again as President Trump has shown no signs of caring about UK jobs says GMB

GMB, the Union for autoworkers, says the UK Government needs to clarify its position post Brexit to protect jobs and investment in the Bridgend Ford Plant.

A report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) suggested that the Brexit negotiations were an 'exercise in damage limitation' and urged the government to seek continued regulatory and trading alignment with EU. 

On Monday Steven Armstrong the boss of Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa told Reuters in Geneva that the company needed clarity on post Brexit conditions as the company looked at its future investment in Britain.

He suggested that Ford is estimating a hard Brexit could cost the company up to $1bn a year. 

Britain's largest automotive engine maker Ford builds half of the UK’s total output of 2.7 million units between its Bridgend and London Dagenham factories.

The automaker will continue to build some of its own engines at Bridgend but has yet to say what will replace the current run built for Jaguar Land Rover, prompting fears that over 1,000 jobs could be lost. 

Jeff Beck, GMB Organiser, said:

“This perfect storm will impact upon, not only thousands of jobs in the car industry itself, but on the many thousands of people employed in the supply chain.

“What’s paramount now is that the Government moves quickly to set out a position that can reassure Ford and other companies that it is in their best interests to continue to invest in Bridgend."

Mike Payne, GMB Political Officer for Wales, said:

“The Government needs to move quickly to reassure workers in Bridgend but also across the UK.

"The recent protectionist stance taken by President Trump, combined with Teresa May’s announcement that we will be leaving the Customs Union after Brexit is a complete disaster for the UK's car industry.

"If the Government thinks that the panacea to all of our Brexit worries is to rely on the US, they need to think again. President Trump has shown no signs of caring about UK jobs and he’s made it clear that he won’t sign trade deals that don't overwhelmingly benefit the USA at the detriment of others.

"Maybe it's a wake-up call for Teresa May, she needs to stop wasting her time trying to appease the unappeasable on her back benches, get us out of this hard Brexit nightmare and commit to a customs union that will protect jobs and the British economy."