What's been announced so far?

On Tuesday morning Honda confirmed earlier reports on Monday they would be stopping production of the Honda Civic and the plant in South Marston will close by 2021 with the loss of around 3,500 jobs.

What's causing the plant to close?

The official statement from Katsushi Inoue, chief officer for European regional operations at Honda Motor Co Ltd and president of Honda Motor Europe, said: “In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly."

The company also confirmed it will close a plant in Turkey, moving all its European manufacturing operations to a factory in Japan.

Jason Smith, head of manufacturing at the Swindon plant, told the Advertiser that around three per cent of the company's sales, or 150,000 Honda Civics, are sold in the EU, but around two million are sold in each of the North American, Pacific and Asian markets.

Ian Larrard from Business West added that the recently signed EU/Japan trade deal will mean there will be 0 per cent tariffs on Japan importing cars into the Europe.

With most of its sales going to the bigger markets the company is effectively consolidating its production closer to its main markets where it predicts the biggest growth to be.

As Jason Smith explained: "When you are looking to have a fairly big investment in electrified vehicles it makes sense to invest in those big markets and unfortunately that’s not in Europe and very sadly that’s not in the UK."

Although this hasn't stopped the widespread speculation from commentators, MPs, Business West leader Phil Smith, and union bosses from the TUC and Unite, all citing Brexit as a contributing factor.

A former ambassador to Japan also said it 'fanciful' to think that Brexit didn't come into the company's decision, with only a month until March 29.

Speaking to The Guardian Sir David Warren, British ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012, said that the Japanese government would be “privately conscious of the danger of the massively important UK/Japan trade and investment relationship – and other foreign direct investment – being held hostage by an internal debate within the Conservative party that it is proving difficult to resolve”.

Honda has repeatedly insisted Brexit has not come into it, despite it revealing its just-in-time logistics necessary to run the plant in South Marston last year.

What's happening next?

Business secretary Greg Clark is chairing a taskforce meeting in Swindon this afternoon at around 3pm with business leaders and representatives from Swindon Borough Council to respond to the expected impact on the town.

Swindon Borough Council will debate a cross-party motion at a full council meeting tomorrow evening urging the leader of the council to request financial support from Theresa May.