Boss of car giant supports Prime Minister’s Brexit deal

#Brexit special section Daily news

The boss of Toyota’s European division has thrown his support behind Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal ahead of tomorrow’s crucial Commons vote.

Voting through the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal would protect the UK car industry and avoid the damage caused by a hard Brexit, said Dr Johan van Zyl.

He spoke out after Ford and Jaguar Land Rover unveiled huge job cuts in their UK operations, saying Brexit was partly to blame.

Toyota has already said it would have to shed jobs in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which would become more likely if MPs vote down the Prime Minister’s deal.

The company is spending £250m to produce the new Toyota Corolla at its UK plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire.

But Toyota bosses are concerned about tariffs and the security of its just-in-time supply chain if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on March 29.

Toyota, which employs 3000 people in Derbyshire and at Deeside in Wales, exports a large number of the cars it makes to the EU.

Dr van Zyl, speaking at a launch event for the new Corolla this week, said: “We’ve said since the start of the Brexit discussions we would like to see trade without duties or tariffs.

“We would like to see a regime where the regulatory framework is the same between the EU and the UK.

He added: “That for us is what is really required to make sure that our operations can continue as they are at the moment.”

“The big thing about the (Brexit) deal on the table is that it really allows us to keep our competitiveness.

“But if we put any friction or tariffs into the system, that will impact our costs and that will affect our competitiveness.”

The Prime Minister has called on MPs from all parties to support her deal in the Commons vote tomorrow night ‘for the sake of the country.’

Business Minister Greg Clark was at the Corolla event and said failure to back the Prime Minister’s deal could severely damage British business.

He said successful companies such as Toyota need to be able to sell into Europe and protect their just-in-time production process after Brexit.

Clark added: “We’re absolutely determined to ensure that should continue. It is important that Parliament listens to people creating jobs in this region and across the country.”

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