Big businesses making threats will only strengthen people’s resolve to leave the EU’s Single Market

Big businesses making threats will only strengthen people’s resolve to leave the EU’s Single Market

Airbus and BMW are corporations which enjoy here in the UK the fruits of a safe and tolerant environment, the rule of law, an educated and a highly skilled workforce, excellent energy and water supplies, advanced and reliable communications and an efficient system of government and local administration. And that’s not to mention the absence of the need to bribe officials every time a business needs a permit, a licence or any type of official document – as is the case in many other countries that these corporations threaten to move to. They enjoy an environment paid for by society over generations, an environment to which these corporations have made no contribution. Corporation taxes come after the fact and are tiny in comparison to those paid by working people.

So it is that the threat made by Airbus that its investment in the UK would be at risk in the event of a no deal Brexit has done nothing to dent the determination of the British people to ensure the Government gets on with it and leaves the EU. On the contrary, it will have strengthened their resolve, not because they don’t take such threats seriously, but because one thing they particularly detest is a multinational corporation – that has enjoyed no end of subsidies and support – attempting to blackmail the Government and force it to take a course of action contrary to their wishes.

And it’s laughable that the state-of-the-art wing making plants in the UK which are responsible for the design and manufacture of the high-technology wings for all Airbus models – along with the overall design and supply of the fuel system and landing gear for most Airbus models – could easily be relocated to somewhere else in the world like you would a plastic moulding outfit.

Similarly with BMW and its warnings of reducing capacity if components did not arrive on time due to delays at the border following Brexit: if BMW wants to ensure no delays in its just-in-time strategy, they should make these components here and, with it, eliminate the impact on the environment by components endlessly criss-crossing the Channel.

The purpose of all of these threats is not to change people’s minds. As a Guardian editorial admitted earlier in the week, “the national tide has not turned against Brexit itself or in any of its forms” and that the public “still seems to accept, that at the end, Britain will leave the EU”. The purpose, rather, is to try and bounce the Government into agreeing a fake Brexit with the UK remaining in the Single Market and the Customs Union. In this, they are joined, shamefully, by the TUC on the grounds of putting the economic interests and people’s jobs first, despite the fact that these very things are only protected, promoted and guaranteed when we have full control of the economic levers of the country – which we do not have while we remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union.

What the large multinational corporations do not understand is that when it comes to Brexit, the people are in the driving seat; politicians might wish to settle for fake Brexit along the lines of Norway, but the people don’t. The House of Lords proposed just that, but they were duly humbled.

Now that the EU Withdrawal Bill has become an Act, the Government has a mandate to press ahead more forcefully. It’s the Remainers who are now on the back foot, hence their hysteric pronouncements and warnings, on which they have already started rowing back: in the case of BMW, its most senior British executive, Ian Robertson, has said, according to the Guardian, that the firm does not intend “to move any car production to any of its other plants around the world”. Not that anyone believed they would.