Chinese Car Maker Rules Out UK Factory 'Because Of Brexit'

BYD electric cars at the Pannita Auto Fair in Yangon, Myanmar.
BYD electric cars at the Pannita Auto Fair in Yangon, Myanmar.

BYD electric cars at the Pannita Auto Fair in Yangon, Myanmar.

The world’s biggest seller of electric and hybrid cars has ruled out building its first European factory in the UK because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Michael Shu, the European president of Chinese firm BYD, said Britain hadn’t even made it onto the long list of potential sites.

He told the Financial Times: “As an investor we want a country to be stable. To open a factory . . . is a decision for decades.

“Without Brexit, maybe. But after Brexit, we don’t understand what happened.

“The UK doesn’t have a very good solution. Even on the long list we didn’t have the UK.”

Instead, BYD are looking to build a factory in Germany, France, Spain, Poland or Hungary.

Shu’s comments come after French president Emmanuel Macron hit out at the “consequences of Brexit” at a summit with Rishi Sunak.

He also said the effects of quitting the EU had been “under-estimated” before the 2016 referendum.

The decision to quit the EU has also been blamed for a labour shortage which has forced the government to relax visa rules for foreign workers.

Ministers to plug huge gaps in the job market by starting with looser rules for the building industry, according to the Financial Times.

A number of occupations will be added to the “shortage occupation list” which eases recruitment from abroad.

The list allows companies to obtain visas for staff paid on a lower threshold of £20,480 a year because the salary currently needed to obtain a “skilled worker” visa is £25,600.

Labour MP Stella Creasy told HuffPost UK: “British workers are losing jobs and opportunities hand over fist not being able to work in the EU or for companies that want to work with the EU because of the post Brexit visa situation, whilst the UK’s inability to build a functioning immigration and asylum system is holding back our economy at a time when vacancies are at over a million.

“We need urgent reform of the whole visa system to ensure we tackle not just shortages in the UK labour market but also opportunities for all as part of kickstarting growth in our economy.”