Another Tory backs EU referendum
Heidi Allen, a Conservative critic of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, has said she would support a People’s Vote on Brexit because her “irresponsible” party colleagues had killed off Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
The Cambridgeshire MP said she would back another referendum because of the threat to jobs and businesses of a no-deal Brexit.
The growing number of MPs openly backing the People’s Vote must be approaching a parliamentary majority, even before talks are due to end in November.
As the Conservative Party is holding its annual conference in Birmingham, Allen told the BBC she would still support an “11th-hour” deal but many on the right of her party would not.
Calling her colleagues “fiscally and economically irresponsible”, Allen said: “They have behaved unacceptably through this and have completely tied her hands.
“It is they who have made Chequers dead and that being the case – they have made their position totally clear – then I think that it is the end of the road, which is very disappointing and for me leaves us with no alternative other than asking, should we come to that and no deal … then we need to go back to the public to decide what they want us to do next.”
The nation “would regret it forever” if it lost its status as a “world leader” in foreign car manufacturing, pro-EU business secretary Greg Clark said.
Saying it was “concerning” that Toyota was saying a no-deal Brexit would temporarily halt production at its factory in Burnaston near Derby.
Burnaston, which makes the Auris and Avensis, produced nearly 150,000 cars last year of which 90 per cent were exported to the rest of the EU.
“My view is that if Britain crashes out of the EU at the end of March we will see production stops in our factory,” Marvin Cooke, Toyota’s boss at Burnaston, told the BBC.
Other UK-based carmakers have raised fears about cross-border trade, including Honda, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.
BMW said it would close its Mini plant near Oxford for a month after Brexit.
The main concerns relate to what carmakers say are supply chain risks in the event of a hard Brexit.
Toyota’s production has parts arriving every 37 minutes from EU suppliers for cars made to order with any border trouble disrupting production.
Toyota said it could not hold more than a day’s worth of stock at its Derbyshire factory and production would be stopped.
Conservatives against Brexit gather for the Tory Party conference in Birmingham yesterday. Picture credit: Eurasia Times