One of the biggest fears peddled by the Europhile brigade is that if Britain leaves the European Union, hundreds of firms will pull out of Britain and relocate to countries within the EU, costing thousands of British jobs.
The car industry is among those who are the most vocal in their threats to leave Britain if we leave the EU.
Over the past few years Ford, Nissan and Toyota have all threatened to up sticks and put thousands of Britons out of work if a Brexit were to happen. But are these firms truly serious about leaving?
Ian Milne, Chairman of the think tank Global Britain, thinks not. In a recent briefing note, Milne pointed out car companies have plants in countries all over the world outside the EU. Toyota has plants in 22 countries outside the EU, whilst Renault-Nissan has 12 and BMW has 11. Would these 3 giant car companies really pull out of Britain — the 6th largest economy in the world?
Milne’s latest briefing note echoes his earlier paper ‘Withdrawal From the EU Would Not Damage Our Car Industry: True or False?’.
In this paper, he argues that whilst foreign investment is vital to the British automobile industry, the idea of foreign investment into Britain drying up if we left the EU is “questionable” at best. This is particularly true as we are almost guaranteed to be able to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU after we exit.
Milne further argues that even if we did not secure this free trade agreement, the car industry would still benefit from our exit from the EU. Britain has greater car exports to the rest of the world than it does to EU member states. Therefore, the idea that these car giants in Britain are here for our EU membership does not stand up to scrutiny.
Even if there were cause for car manufacturers to relocate to the continent, where would they go? The other EU Member States are either too economically unstable, buckling under the relentless strain of the Eurozone crisis, or are too small to offer a large enough market for it to be worth producers while to relocate there.
This is particularly true considering the astronomical cost of relocating.
Car manufacturers are not going to pull out of an economically successful Britain and relocate to Eurozone countries like France or Italy which are in the midst of a long-term economic decline, fuelled by the ongoing crisis. All manufacturers want to be located in an economically stable country with a large market of consumers to sell to. They need look no further than Britain.
Make no mistake; there will be plenty of noise from the car companies and business in general about leaving Britain if the Great British Public makes the “wrong” choice in an EU referendum.
We must ignore all of this scaremongering and sabre-rattling as we did when we were told years ago of the dire economic consequences if we didn’t join the euro. We must vote to Get Britain Out.
This piece was cross-posted here on The Commentator.