HONDA's announcement has come as no surprise to business leaders who have grown increasingly frustrated with the delay of a Brexit deal from parliament.

As early as June Honda was warning of unprecedented disruption to its supply chain if Britain failed to negotiate a withdrawal agreement on trade before the end of March.

The company is heavily reliant on importing components via the Channel Tunnel, and revealed that 75 per cent of the two million components delivered to the plant every day arriving between five and 24 hours.

Ian Larrard, director of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative at Business West, said Honda was right to plan for disruption given the current uncertainty.

“Brexit is a major challenge for businesses like Honda, who operate a just in time production mode,” he said.

“Given that there is still a great deal of uncertainty around whether we will be leaving the EU with a Brexit deal, in my view, this is a sensible precaution.

“Temporarily suspending production will allow Honda to fully implement their Brexit planning, whatever the scenario come 29 March.”

In September the firm renewed its commitment to Swindon after Brexit, saying it had invested millions in the plant in South Marston.