Ford says no-deal Brexit would mean costs of $800m in 2019 alone | Business

Ford has predicted that a no-deal Brexit will result in costs of $800m (£612m) during 2019 alone, in the latest in a series of stark warnings over potential disruption to British manufacturing.

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal the US carmaker said it could face trade delays at the border, a weaker economic outlook and tariffs on trade between the UK and EU, as well as a hit from the likely sharp fall in sterling.

The warning came as Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest carmaker, informed employees on Thursday that it will shut down its four main factories for an extra week at the start of April on top of a previously planned maintenance pause because of “potential Brexit disruption”.

Ford’s European president, Steven Armstrong, this month said a no-deal Brexit could result in further job losses in the UK, and did not rule out the closure of British plants if there were no agreement.

Ford has major operations in the UK, including factories in Merseyside, Dagenham and Bridgend that employ more than 5,500 workers.

A no-deal Brexit “would severely impact Ford’s operations in the UK and across Europe”, Ford said in a statement on Thursday first reported by Sky News.

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Brexit uncertainty has only added to the woes of carmakers across Europe, who also face regulatory changes that are depressing demand for diesel, falling demand from China and the threat of tariffs from the US.

Ford earlier this month announced thousands of cost cuts across Europe, which could lead to as many as 1,000 job losses at its Bridgend factory alone, before any no-deal Brexit effects are taken into account.

Ford’s spokesperson said: “Our planning assumptions for Brexit include a negotiated exit as the most likely outcome, with a transition period during 2019 and 2020 if the withdrawal package is approved by UK parliament. However, we recognise that the situation is highly uncertain and are monitoring events closely.”

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