BMW has closed its Mini plant in Oxford in line with plans to cease production at the facility for a month after Brexit, the Oxford Mail reports.
Mini confirmed in October last year that its Oxford plant would be closed from March 29 (the originally announced date of Brexit) until April 29.
However, as anyone who’s been reading the news will know, Britain hasn’t actually left the European Union yet due to disagreements concerning how the Brexit will be implemented. Nevertheless, Mini is carrying on with its planned shutdown.
Taking to Twitter, Oxford City councilor Tom Hayes said it is a shame that production at the factory has been paused, leaving employees with no work for a month.
“Feel very sorry for the workers of Cowley Mini plant. Oxford’s biggest employer has tried to be prudent in the face of government chaos by bringing forward and extending its shutdown. The plant can’t reverse the shutdown and may still get hit by a No Deal that it tried to avoid,” Hayes said.
The halt at the Mini factory was moved forward to March 29 from its usual slot at the end of the year.
BMW has been particularly outspoken about how Britain leaving the European Union without some kind of trade deal could have detrimental affects on the UK’s manufacturing industry. As a matter of fact, the automaker recently said that it may be forced to move production of all of its Mini vehicles to the Netherlands if the UK eventually goes for a no-deal Brexit.
If that happens, then the country’s automotive industry would face another blow after Honda announced it will close down its Swindon plant when the current Civic ends its product cycle in 2021. This move leaves 3,500 employees without a job and, if BMW or other automakers follow Honda’s example, the country’s economy will be seriously hurt.