Consequences of Brexit for town's companies

AN open letter to Robert Buckland: I know you once thought it damaging to leave the EU and now that we have not only left the EU but also the Single Market and Customs Union we have succeeded in doing even more damage to our country.

So how do we proceed from here? We are stuck with this awful Brexit. We need to first accept the fact that there are serious problems then we can start to actively mitigate the consequences of what is causing actual hardship for many. I would like to book a meeting with you to discuss my concerns on how the Brexit deal has impacted our local community.

From my perspective we have a problem with Honda closing. I think that the govt line is Honda were moving anyway due to dropping sales of diesel vehicles. That is not accurate. I know some people that work there (including managers) that have told me this was incorrect.

Honda had set up an electric motor and battery test and development section. They were planning to build electric cars here.

Sure diesel sales are down but that has affected all manufacturers and all manufacturers are taking mitigating steps. Honda was too, right here in their state-of-the-art site.

So when Japan managed to get a trade deal with the EU (that would have been worth a projected £2.6 billion to our economy had we stayed) Honda took that fact into consideration.

Honda's decision was made in large part because being in the EU was deemed preferable to staying in the UK. After all it was now worthwhile to manufacture in Japan and export directly to the EU. By the way, our trade deal with Japan is worth £1.5 billion. The reasons for getting such a poor deal are that the EU is bigger than us and we have been rushing our trade deals.

Now, I understand that the Honda site will deliver some work in storage and logistics. So some of the jobs will be replaced but not all and indeed not of such a high skillset, at least in engineering terms and in the training that Honda provided. Here in Swindon we have a proud history of engineering and support for this industry.

In fact Honda was encouraged to set up here following the demise of the Swindon Railway Works (1843-1986) that was closed under a Conservative forerunner to you.

I am the owner of a small engineering firm. Brexit is affecting my industry and my livelihood. I have a stake in this.

If there is anything I can do I will but you as the MP have so much more influence and some of the recovery has to be led from govt. Some things (like planning rules) are set by govt. That is another issue.

It was govt that was able to convince Honda to set up in Swindon in the first place. How can you encourage high skilled companies to move here? You may already have some plans. I would be very interested if you have.

I would appreciate any time you can spare. I would like to work with you and in a collaborative way.

Martin Wiltshire

Old Town


Not much support for local businesses from Labour

So the backlash against Labour’s stance on a second referendum has been fully felt at the polls.

Probably not the greatest idea to go against the majority of the country!

In the lead up to the local elections I received two leaflets from the labour party, both leaflets promising to support local businesses.

I thought it was a belated April fool’s joke as both leaflets were printed in Southend-on-Sea!!!

Nicola Spull

Old Town