Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Honda: Nothing to do with Brexit.

The decision by Honda has nothing to do with Brexit. just like the decision by Nissan not to build a new model in the UK.

It actually reinforces the Brexit message, in that the EU will do deals not in the UK's interest.

The fact is that the EU finally, after many years of negotiation made a trade agreement with Japan. That opened up the Japanese market to EU goods and removed Tariffs on cars imported into Europe from Japan.

Straight away, the need for a European base in Europe is removed and Japanese manufacturers have quite rightly protected their workers in Japan and pulled car production to the motherland.

The workers in Swindon have unfortunately become pawns in the globalist game, a game that successive governments on all sides have been pretty piss-poor at. Maggie Thatcher took advantage of cheap UK labour and easy employment laws to make the UK attractive as a base for Japanese manufacturers to get round tariffs protecting German and French car makers and make cars inside Europe.

Not one UK government protected their workforce like the Germans and the French do.

And it has come to pass as it would even if we voted to Remain that once the tariff wall came down, Nissan and Honda would start to move production back to Japan to protect their workforce in a shrinking global car market.

The fiasco around future Nuclear Powerplants and the bailing of different contractors shows what a parlous state industry is in in the UK.

Nothing to do with Brexit, but lots to do with the abdication of UK government from strategic thinking. Everything over the past 30 years has in the interests of short-term benefits and ensuring that MPs stay in seats, rather than employees in jobs.

The UK-owned computer industry went the way of the car industry i.e. abroad. I worked for International Computers Ltd, a company making computers in the UK. They were bought by Fujitsu, a Japanese company that wanted the secrets of their large-scale computer chips. Fujitsu had no interest in manufacturing. So once they had got a controlling stake in ICL, the manufacturing arm was hived off and a separate company was created. That company was bought by a Canadian company and guess what? The jobs went to Eastern Europe. Not one shot across the bows from government. The French would have been in there like a shot protecting a strategic industry. Now Fujitsu in the UK is nothing more than an IT management company.

Not so in the UK. Governments over the past 30 years have been interested in short term gain and are in the thrall of the City of London, where paid directorships abound like confetti. Just how many MPs have become directors of financial organisations?

This bleeding dry of British strategic interests has to stop. I'm not convinced Brexit is the answer unless we get some decent representation for the working class in Parliament in order to halt the slide and protect jobs.