Ford step up preparations to move production out of Britain

Ford Dagenham plant

Vehicle giant Ford told the Prime Minister Theresa May over a phone call that they are stepping up preparations to pull production out of the United Kingdom, the Times has reported.

The Times newspaper earlier reported that Ford told May it was stepping up preparations to move production out of Britain.

It has a plant in Mr Jones' Bridgend constituency and last month union Unite said 1,000 jobs were to be cut by 2021.

Auto makers have all made clear warnings over a no-deal Brexit as this may impose higher tariffs with disruptions to the supply chain that will threaten thousands of jobs. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29.

Ford was not immediately available for comment.

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Ford is looking to shake up its European operations and is the latest carmaker to warn about the risks of a no-deal Brexit ahead of the UK's departure from the EU on 29 March.

Labour MP Owen Smith said on Twitter, "After Nissan, Ford has now told Theresa May it is preparing alternative production sites - outside the UK". Ford is a top-selling automotive brand in Britain, which is its third-largest market and the destination for roughly one in three cars made at its plant in Cologne, Germany.

Last week Nissan Motor Co said it scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail SUV in Britain and will produce it exclusively in Japan, saying that uncertainty related to Brexit was making it hard for it to plan for the future. It employs 13,000 staff in the UK.

"We're six or seven weeks away from it and companies like Ford are saying, "look we can't wait any longer, we're going to have to put in place contingency plans" and that's deeply worrying".

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