Listening to an interview on BBC Radio 4 with people in Sunderland about Brexit. Sunderland was an industrial area that was hit particularly hard as our manufacturing businesses, particularly ship building in the case of Sunderland, shut down. It has regenerated itself, and in particular now has a Nissan car factory that employees 10,000 people. Half the output of that factory goes to the EU. Despite that, people in the area voted solidly to Leave.
One person interviewed said oh they didn't think Nissan would leave because of Brexit. It was said very casually and with complete self-assurance. I'm old enough to remember the economic devastation these areas suffered as the shipyards closed down back in the 70s and 80s. If Nissan leaves it will be a massive blow to the area, and yet this person, this voice, was willing to risk it. I can only assume that they genuinely believe that Nissan's investment in the area is too large. But if there is one thing we have witnessed over the past years, it is that large multi-national companies will move their manufacturing if their accountants tell them they will save money by doing so. They'll probably leave the factory in place until the Brexit negotiations are complete, but if we lose access to the single market, I can see that decision being reviewed rapidly :-(