I HAVE been engaged in the motor industry all my life, working for a manufacturer and as head of business for franchised dealers, including DM Keith in Leeds. I started as an apprentice at Wallace Arnold in Leeds, where I later became a shareholder.
This country has a vibrant and extensive automotive industry. Jaguar Land Rover employs 40,000 people and there are a further 120,000 employed in their supply chain. With Toyota, Honda, Peugeot, Nissan and others, thousands of cars are assembled in this country. Seventy per cent are exported, with 50 per cent going to Europe. The other big market is China and that market has stalled.
Around 850,000 people are employed in the industry and 1,100 trucks cross the English Channel every day with components to fulfil ‘‘just in time’’ supply.
The industry is already facing headwinds following the unfair demonisation of diesel and the downturn in the Chinese market.
If we leave the European Union, the automotive industry will suffer tariffs and customs delays. The impact on suppliers, in particular, will be enormous, with a high risk of job losses.
I believe that we should remain in the European Union now these facts have come to light. I am sure that if we were to hold another referendum, with this new information clear to voters, the majority would decide to remain.
You might even agree, having seen how the structural decline of UK industry is being exacerbated by Brexit, that the time is right for a new party that acknowledges fact over fiction when tackling our economic problems – like Renew, for example.
From: Anthony Smith, Cowling.
OVER the last 80 years, the CBI has demonstrated that it keeps getting the big calls of the day wrong (“No-deal exit could cost billions”, The Yorkshire Post, January 22).
In the 1920s, the CBI wanted to go back to gold at the pre-war rate. In the 1930s, it was for appeasement. In the 1940s it was often for nationalisation. In the 1950s, it was for state planning. In the 1960s, it was for tripartite industrial relations. In the 1970s, it was for price controls. In the 1980s it was for the disastrous Exchange Rate Mechanism and in the 1990s it was for the euro.
While not claiming that the small amount of funding the CBI receives from the EU would greatly influence its findings, it is though, highly likely, that the position taken by its biggest industrial subscriber members to reject a ‘‘no- deal’’ Brexit and keep us in the EU would influence its outlook, policies and statements.
I have seen no meaningful evidence why leaving the EU on WTO rules will not be a success for Britain.
We already trade seamlessly with most of the rest of the world on WTO rules and at a healthy surplus too, while we have to pay huge sums for the privilege of trading at an enormous deficit with the EU!
From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.
LAST week, the Conservative government lost a vote by the largest number on record.
Later, after a vote of no confidence by the Opposition, miraculously the Tories won on the day (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, January 19).
When their meal tickets are at risk, MPs know how to vote.
Pigs at the trough comes to mind.
My old dad – long passed on – would have summed it up thus: “I wouldn’t pay them in washers.” Then, after a short period of reflection, he would have said: ‘‘In fact, I wouldn’t pay them with the holes in the centre of washers.”
Labour need not rest smug; were there an election tomorrow, I would not vote for any of the three main parties. What happened to integrity?
No question about Fiona
From: A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds.
AFTER reading that Fiona Bruce would be running Question Time on TV in the future, I had my doubts.
After watching it this week, I realised I was wrong.
She did a great job keeping full control and correcting the panel members if they were wrong. Like Margaret Thatcher, this lady is not for turning.
Global history of changes
From: Roger Brown, Sandal.
FURTHER to the recent comments by Sir David Attenborough, there can be no doubt that human activities are affecting the world’s climate. However, this now seems to be accepted as the sole reason for climate change.
Over our planet’s history, the British Isles have been subject to enormous changes from being covered by water to having extensive forestry coverage.
Even during human history, there have been dramatic climatic changes when parts of the British Isles were covered by ice. When this ice melted, the British Isles were formed. Is it not possible that at least some of the present climatic changes are part of natural evolution over which humanity has absolutely no control?
News that’s worth reading
From: PL Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
A RELATIVE of mine said you think you are quite smart in having your letters published in The Yorkshire Post but that it is only a local publication!
I said in response that The Yorkshire Post gives an unbiased, non-partisan report on local, national and international affairs.
I hope the above will encourage more people to purchase the paper and contribute to the Letters to the Editor section.