The decision by Honda to close their Swindon plant in 2021 is devastating to the area and surrounding communities. While I note the first reaction of some has been to politicise the issue, the thousands of families who are affected by the reported likely job losses must be the first consideration. 

There is not expected to be any job losses or changes to production until 2021 and the company will be consulting with staff. I note that Swindon MPs, Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland are working to set up a taskforce to provide support for all staff, working with Honda, the government and the unions. 

I know from my own work at my charity and in law that sudden shocks such as being made redundant can have a serious impact on the whole family, relationships and mental health. I hope that the coming weeks and months will provide more clarity of the available options and access to support is needed. Anybody affected by the proposed closure should get in touch with their MPs or the taskforce team for more information.

The government response link is here for completeness. 

https://www.gov.uk/…/government-response-to-honda-announcem…

Brexit

Honda said the announcement was not driven by Brexit, instead blaming “unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry”, in particular the shift to electric vehicles. 

Commercial decisions are not made on single issues and I am sure that many factors, including Brexit, will have played a part. I hope that the company’s decision is reported accurately and that everybody (rightly) raising concerns about the impact of Brexit uncertainty on businesses will have renewed energy to work together to conclude a Brexit deal without further delay. 

In the meantime, the focus should be on Honda employees as I have mentioned above.



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