Nissan statement suggests UK has no immediate plans for leaving EU customs union…

So, another attempt to block Brexit in Belfast fails. One of the problems the former Remain side has is that much as it has been scornful of a lack plan, it does not seem to have had much of a one itself.

The big news yesterday was the fact that Nissan far from pulling out appears to be confident that nothing much will change, at least in the short term for large industrial concerns (financial institutions perhaps, not so much).

Faisal Islam has a fascinating historic take on the Nissan deal (which is worth quoting at length):

The car industry in Europe was basically the prototype for the Single Market. Tariff free, a massive market of customers with supply chains of parts dispersed around Europe and integrated for practically instant “just-in-time” delivery.

The “Forging Joint” might be German, the “Tripod” from France, and the “Forging Tripod” from Spain, to quote a real example of what is then assembled at GKN Driveline’s factory in Redditch, before the driveline system is then supplied to a UK car factory, which then often exports the final car back to Europe.

Depending on manufacturer, between 20% to 50% of the value of the supply chain is imported from the EU. Less than half, about 40% of the total value of spend, is currently sourced in the UK. There are Government ambitions to increase this to 50%, and this might be helped by the weak value of sterling after the Brexit vote.

What this business model will not be helped by, and indeed, will not survive, is the need to check in every part and subpart imported from Europe for its origin.

Just-in-time delivery means a part delayed by two hours can shut down an entire automotive production line.

The idea that a customs officer at Felixstowe, or Rotterdam or Southampton or wherever will be checking the widgets shipped into Sunderland to make the new Qashqai, is as far from car industry expectations of competitiveness as can be imagined.

And the same goes for aviation too. So if Nissan believes the UK is going to stay a place to make cars into the 2020s – the UK is not leaving the Customs Union, at least not till then, and perhaps not at all.

If this is the case, and Islam suggests the motive for the EU to take its time over any divorce (some Leave campaigners estimate anything up to six years), then some of the large concerns raised about the re-imposition of a hard commercial land border in Ireland are a little, erm, premature.

 

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well of course the United Kingdom would not be so stupid to leave the customs union in 2019, this is a relief for those who actually make things in the UK, and an embarrassment for the Europhobic chattering classes in the media.

    Many hard Leavers will be punching pillows and slapping their faces at the news here, because they were moaning and groaning about the Customs Union being a shackle here.

    The Express will praise the Nissan deal as Brexit at work, but lose the head the EU transition steps that make the Nissan deal work… it’s a light Brexit, not a full English one.

    Ah is this Pragmatism or Duplicity … Pragmatism it might work, Duplicity then the nation risks being a laughing stock again.

    Perhaps it’s a recognition that many in the 48% including Thresea May, (and perhaps pragmatists in the Leave campaign) actually knew what they were talking about and were not simply scaremongering about the risks.

    It also means that in a manner of speaking the United Kingdom’s customs policy is effectively being decided by the European Union without them up to six years after they leave like it is in Turkey.

    It may mean unless the Brits and perhaps the Turks, they would be a useful ally here … oh irony of ironies Mr Johnson … try to ensure non-EU partner parties have some proportionate say in the customs union as a whole that there is a real risk that the European Union rules apply to the UK without it having a say in them.
    Does that not seem like, I don’t know, surrendering some degree of sovereignty?

    Is it worth conceding to some rules in some areas in the belief you can be better at the game overall?

    How many Eurosceptics wanted the Turkish option … wasn’t Turkey the bad boy of Europe?

    So let’s assume the British optimism is right, six years of customs union from 2019 …that means delaying the border dispute somewhat until 2025.

    Oh and bye the bye, there is still some minor customs checks and some tariffs between Turkey and Greece and Bulgaria … for agricultural goods … so there are some inconveniences.

    Oh and Ironically Qashqai … a Turkic people of Iran.

    Brilliant coincidence.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Will probably have to increase subsidies … issue there is that is just lining the EU pockets.

    The UK are pinning hopes for a Free Trade Deal on this … not sure how the politics of that is going to work out.

    I cannot imagine using the World Trade Organisation Rules on the EU threat is compatible with the desire for trying to stay in the European Union customs union.

    There’s only so much rudeness and chance taking you can get away with.

    To me I feel the financial passport thing is linked to migration not to the trade in goods.

    Goods are a matter of sustainable supply and demand side economics,

    The Brits are buying Russian coal in bulk while their Newspapers speculate on a future Russia NATO war.

    The UK and most of the EU are NATO allies, the Republic of Ireland is a major trade partner too. There will be no outright charity among friends but there should be no demands to make life harder either.

    Services Trades are different however, because Services often require the Free Movement of people.

    If the UK can stop Polish students and engineers from entering their country because they perceive them as a threat and need points to qualify for entry, surely Poland can do the same with British bankers and financiers, why can’t the rest of the Schengen Region do that with British bankers and financiers?

    You’d never know who could be a Nick Leeson among them.

  • chrisjones2

    I dont think you can draw that conclusion …it seems the commitment is make sure they dont lose out.There are many possible ways to achieve this post Brexit

  • terence patrick hewett

    And what the auto industry doesn’t tell you:

    That Ford, GM, Renault, PSA-Peugeot-Citroën are pulling out of European manufacture because bureaucracy and regulation is hampering their attempts to deal with technology change.

    Renault has begun to move much of its operation not just out of France, but out of Europe entirely, to new plants in Morocco and Algeria. PSA-Peugeot-Citroën is
    following suit: it is opening an engineering centre in Morocco creating 1500 jobs dealing with research and design as a possible prelude to low-cost vehicle assembly. PSA is negotiating the closure of its Aulnay-sous-Bois plant near Paris as well as laying-off employees at its other plants in France, and focusing its activities on producing low-cost models outside France and possibly the EU altogether

    Ford has continued its EU production withdrawal by closing its factory of 4000 workers in Genk, Belgium on 21st Dec. 2014

    In November 2014 Opel (GM) closed its factory in Bochum, Germany.

    Opel closed its Antwerp plant in 2010

    Auto-makers chase economies: they go where it’s cheap. No regulations. End of
    story.

    But it gets worse:

    The coming technological shakeout will leave major auto companies vulnerable to competition from nimbler organisations, simply from advances in design technology and smart manufacturing technologies such as 3D and 4D printing: electric cars have lowered the barrier to new players, so these vast assembly units such as Nissan-Sunderland are likely to have a limited shelf life.

    As Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple rightly says: the global automobile industry is on the brink of a technology-led upheaval: “It would seem that there will be massive change, massive, in that industry”

    Apple, Sony, Google-Auto-LLC, Alphabet Inc., Tesla-Motors, Uber, Faraday Future, Nvidia, Dyson, BYD and Baidu Inc. are becoming significant players in the industry: this has got German and French manufacturers and media/publishers so worried that they are attacking Google with EU anti-trust charges. According to Stefan Heumann of Berlin think-tank Stiftung Neue Verantwortung:

    “Initially this was publishers against platforms. Now it is about Google expanding its reach into areas of traditional manufacturing [like] cars and home appliances. This has German industry worried.”

    “In the 1970s and 1980s, the policy was to attract a big plant and that was going to save you,” said Karen Maguire, an expert at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “That only lasts for so long unless you can innovate, upgrade and diversify.”

    It cannot be said too many times ”You can’t buy investment that lasts.” Trying to ‘pick winners’ and pay for inward investment is simply playing and paying to corporate rent-seekers which may be good short term PR but it distorts the market: it is a lazy politicians way of not confronting the issues of training and investment in R & D and people. It also leaves the country open to blackmail and corruption: do what we say or the kid gets it.

    The coming technological change will revolutionise travel: electric cars and driverless/connected data technology renders rail lines as a means to guide a vehicle to its destination no longer necessary. It renders HS2 obsolete before it has been built.

    The actual trend appears to be away from EU/US/Africa to Asia-Pacific: this is
    where the big exploitable non-mature markets are.

    Toyota Motors and Honda Motors plan to move some production facilities from US to
    Japan by 2017 and from Mexico to Japan by 2016 respectively. A shift is expected from developed countries in the Americas and EMEA (Europe; Middle East; Africa) to APAC (Asia-Pacific)

    Nissan Motors is making a similar move. It will make about 100,000 Rogue SUVs per year for the North American market at its plant in Kyushu. The Rogue is called the
    X-Trail in Japan.

    The fear in the auto industry is not that the major automakers will pull out of the
    UK because of Brexit but will many of them still be in existence at all in a few years?

    That in a couple of decades, horseless carriage makers will be as thick on the ground as horse-drawn carriage makers.

    Tally Ho!

  • Karl

    The British govt cant guarantee market access or tariff free. Its not in their power. They can guarantee cash and support. Theresa bought a good news story which will be increasibngly difficult to do in the next few months.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/28/nissan-deal-hard-brexit-britain-trade-europe

  • Kevin Breslin

    They can pretty much guarantee market “access” … which is to me nothing more than a know nothing phrase. It is having membership which gives a nation a stake in making the rules. It is having membership of that Single Market that means that the nation is in the loop when rules change.

    Eurosceptics looking for “access” have a windbag’s interpretation of trade, of course the UK will have access, they may not have tariff free access but they’ll have access unless they go Full North Korea and impose full scale sanctions on the European Union closing down one way forcing the EU to do the same.

    Kyrgyzstan, St Lucia, Bahrain, Tanzania and Palau have “access” to an EU market. All nation states who accept the rules for accessing the EU market with trade and regulations for exporting into them have a legal right of access. Those who don’t have a black market access which faces prosecution on the basis of breaking the laws of the land these black market goods have been imported into.

    People should stop using the term.

  • Karl

    Its a fair and correct point. Im not going to argue. I will endevour not to be lazy in future. I still stand by my claim that they bought a good news story.

  • Kevin Breslin

    No offense intended, though you were technically right the UK government cannot guarantee market access … it could almost assume that the EU will let them have a degree of access.

  • Katyusha

    The British governement can guarantee “tariff free” access for Nissan… by compensating Nissan for the tariffs they have to pay to export to the EU.

    As Nissan’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said before the referendum.

    “If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the UK government. If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for carmakers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation.”

    In short, it is entirely the fault of the British Government and the British people that Nissan faces tariff barriers exporting into the EU, and therefore the British government and people should assume responsibility and pay the tab for any losses Nissan may incur.Lunacy doesn’t begin to describe it.
    I wonder if the taxpayer, ie the British people, who voted by majority to leave, will be happy to see their tax monies being used to pay a tariff to the EU, to secure the privileges of any auto manufacturer to be able to sell things to the EU.

    (The issue of the interconnectivity of the supply chain is a massive, massive problem. Trading across tariff barriers can leave automotive suppliers, who operate on very low profit margins, hopelessly uncompetitive. However, unlike Germany, the UK lacks the internal supply chains to be able to assemble vehicles without importing parts. As Faisal Islam correctly points out, the European automotive industry only works as a business model because it is one integrated common market).

  • Karl

    None taken. I went all Arlene with my lack of nuance. Im away to see if I can join the DUP…..or do aou have to be a member of the UUP first?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Auto-makers chase economies: they go where it’s cheap. No regulations. End of story.

    It’s wrong to assume that the car industry abhors regulations and standards. The European Union was an example of how regulations and standards complemented

    Regulations and Standards protect them from being ripped off by suppliers.

    Regulations and Standards ensure that a best practice in labour and environmental standards can be maintained.

    Indeed if Regulations and Standards were irrelevant to both producers and consumers then black market vehicles (they do exist) would dominate the car market.

    We do not have many black market cars, but we have cars that break regulations and rightfully get punished for breaking competition law.

    So I think you are being a bit dogmatic here.

    There may be competition from Mexico or Asia and Pacific nations but to assume that means that the costs of making and indeed selling a car in these markets are cheaper than in Europe simply because of lower regulation is dogmatism gone mad.

    Mexico and Asio-Pacific nations will regulate their markets, as will North Africa … The costings of making a car in these nations depend on a lot more features than simply access to Iron … you need access to engineers, equipment, machinery, access to space and components … and there’s a political element too.

    To go above …

    What this business model will not be helped by, and indeed, will not survive, is the need to check in every part and subpart imported from Europe for its origin.

    Just-in-time delivery means a part delayed by two hours can shut down an entire automotive production line.

    Basically Car Manufacturing is based on “For want of a Nail” logic … not a short sided overhead cost, or an optimal set of regulation demands.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail

    So it may not be as easy for manufacturers and states in PR China, Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia and India to agree on the set of regulations, on the ability to trade goods and workers on a multi-component precision engineering entity like a car in the same way Europe and North America have.

    I would not rule it out, but Asian cars manufacture in Europe because they get what they need from there … in the same way Europeans manufacture things in Asia.

  • Katyusha

    I wouldn’t worry about the OEMs. Any OEM worth their salt has been working on EV technology and all indications are that most of the European automotive are ready for the EV revolution. Indeed, some of them, such as BMW and Renault, appear impatient, because they feel they are surrendering the head-start they have on technology as a result of the extremely cautious uptake of EVs by the consumer market. NI is a microcosm of this problem: we have the charging infrastructure, we have vehicles which can easily meet range requirements and are otherwise completely identical to other vehicles, we subsidise the purchase of electric or hybrid vehicles, and yet people just don’t want to buy them. But the OEMs have learned from the example of SAAB, who put all their chips on the supposed biofuel/ethanol revolution that never came, and went bankrupt as a result.

    In November 2014 Opel (GM) closed its factory in Bochum, Germany.
    Opel closed its Antwerp plant in 2010

    I wouldn’t read anything into that apart form the utter mismanagement of Opel by GM, GM’s own bankruptcy, a political decision by the IG Metall not to protect workers at a plant that had spawned a rival trade union and the desire of Opel to centralise their operations around Rüsselsheim, which they have been expanding.

    As Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple rightly says: the global automobile industry is on the brink of a technology-led upheaval: “It would seem that there will be massive change, massive, in that industry”

    Change which is led, surprisingly by the German OEMs, with their heavy automation and the Industry 4,0 initiave towards smart assembly. The level of automation in any German automotive plant puts the UK’s factories, which still rely heavily on manual labour, to shame. in any case, if the vast assembly plant as a model is under threat, why is Tesla building a battery factory in the Nevada desert which will be the world’s largest building by physical area. The days of the large assembly plant is far from over. Plants are getting bigger and more centralised, against all the odds of global supply chains allowing production to be decentralised

    The expansion into China and the ASEAN countries is about supplying new markets, not moving European production to Asia, but producing vehicles for the Asian market in Asia. In any case, including Japan and South Korea in this group is completely fallacious. Japan is a developed industrial nation with a traditional automotive industry as established and significant as the European market as a whole. It has an emphasis on large factories, domestic production, and traditional assembly and light/heavy industry which is much more conservative than Europe. It is a verymature and non-exploitable market. Toyota and Honda moving production away from the US is an example of them recentralising production around their core headquarters, and moving from production from Mexico to Japan is pulling production out of a low cost country and into a high cost one.
    Mitsubishi have a good term for this kind of massive, central production facility. The “global tower of the production network”. Hardly fits in with moving production to low-cost nations with few regulations.

    Nissan Motors is making a similar move. It will make about 100,000 Rogue SUVs per year for the North American market at its plant in Kyushu. The Rogue is called the X-Trail in Japan.

    They are also, with this latest announcement, moving the production of the X-Trail for the European market, from Kyushu to Sunderland. Hard to read much into that.

    The fear in the auto industry is not that the major automakers will pull out of the
    UK because of Brexit but will many of them still be in existence at all in a few years?

    The OEMs will be fine. The moves towards electrification and extensive networking have been telegraphed by at least a decade, if not longer. The big concern is for automotive suppliers, particularly those that only supply parts for IC engines. I’m seeing 2030 as a kind of event horizon, by which stage many of those suppliers will realise they simply don’t have a business anymore.

  • terence patrick hewett

    @ Kev and Kat: the profit margin at the lower end of the market is very fine.

    Re: Design of driverless cars

    When you remove the following from a car:

    Engine
    Engine management
    Engine control
    Gearbox
    Fuel injection, carburettor, fuel pump and fuel management
    Turbocharger or supercharger
    Exhaust system
    Exhaust gas re-circulation
    Fuel lines
    Fuel tank
    Ignition
    Starter motor
    Transmission and drive train
    Water cooling, radiator and fan
    Cooling for air, cooling for oil
    Air filters and oil filters
    Lead acid battery, charger and alternator
    Associated instrumentation

    And you insert:

    Battery under floor or in bodywork
    Motors in wheels
    Automated motor control/steering/connected car data software and hardware
    Wireless charging/drive

    What you achieve is:

    A saving of a great deal of space and weight: which is why Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) look so odd: you don’t need a bonnet because you don’t have an engine or anything else for that matter, so you can do all sorts design-wise. And you reduce the vehicle to a device not much more complicated than a Kenwood food mixer.

    The implications are:

    Production and design innovation can take off using advanced production techniques, 3D and 4D printing and customised programmed production. A whole raft of new entrants may put most of the established automobile makers out of business. The existing vast production facilities geared to export are replaced by smaller highly automated and flexibly programmable factories sited where the markets are.

    The implications for society are immense and not yet understood: transport systems and technologies are merging like TV/PC/mobile/laptop technologies are merging. Will there be any call for car ownership at all? Will self-driven car ownership run parallel with driverless and be a symbol of status? It will impact on insurance, taxi/lorry driving, city design, mass transport systems and very much else.

    The fear of the automakers is that they will end up making boxes for Apple software: which is where all the money is made.

  • Angry Mob

    The British governement can guarantee “tariff free” access for Nissan… by compensating Nissan for the tariffs they have to pay to export to the EU.

    No they can’t, it’s against WTO rules thats assuming we don’t remain inside the single market however,.

  • Katyusha

    the profit margin at the lower end of the market is very fine.

    Don’t I know it – It’s the main reason the gasoline IC engine is still the prime option at the lower end of the market. But there aren’t many EV’s at the lower end of the market.

    A saving of a great deal of space and weight: which is why Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) look so odd: you don’t need a bonnet because you don’t have an engine or anything else for that matter, so you can do all sorts design-wise.

    I made the exact same case myself at an automotive company several years ago. Unfortunately, it’s not so significant when you scratch the surface. Despite all the attractive packaging options that become available with an EV, EV which broke it’s way into mainstream commercial acceptance was not some innovative design but the Nissan Leaf: just about the most boring design you could have come up with. It was successful because it was indistinguishable from a standard four-door family hatchback. The public have seen enough Sinclair C5s and G-Whiz’s to run a mile from anything that doesn’t vaguely resemble a car. Look at Tesla’s big mainstream offering: the Model S. It needs to look boring and unremarkable to sell. In fact BMW is by the most innovative in this regard with the I3 (all carbon fibre monocoque) unless you count the Renault TWIZY, a remarkably innovative concept which actually made production (although the public-lease rather than private ownership model it was designed for didn’t. People really like to own their own cars)
    There are a multitude of innovative EV designs, and the vast majority will never see the light of day. And you can have extremely clever packaging with the IC engine as well. Daimler have just launched an engine with all of the exhaust aftertreatment integrated into the engine block rather than under the floor as would be conventional. Suddenly “underfloor batteries” look like a burden not just for weight but for space as well, and weight will remain an issue until a certain someone releases the lithium-air battery technology they’ve been working on.

    In any case, all of the components you list are powertrain, and the OEMs manufacture few of them themselves (in heavy duty, very few OEMs make even their own engine. They can buy the engine, turbocharger, fuel system, even the aftertreatment and transmission sometimes, as a single unit). So how does swapping this powerplant for an electric one make any difference to their business? It’s the Tier 1/2 suppliers and below who will take the hit – to the OEM, they’re just going to a different supplier, one that supplies motors or 400V battery packs rather than loose IC engines or EGR systems.

    (Although I am personally a fan, wheel motors seem to have given way to single-motor and reduction drive, and including batteries in the bodywork has issues for cooling, safety and centre of gravity, so underfloor has taken preference there. The kind of snubnose AV you describe has probably crossed the drawing board of every OEM, mechanical engineering faculty and undergraduate EV project on earth, but obvious solutions are rarely the optimum ones. The car of the future seems like it will look depressingly like the car of today).

    Production and design innovation can take off using advanced production techniques, 3D and 4D printing and customised programmed production. A whole raft of new entrants may put most of the established automobile makers out of business. The existing vast production facilities geared to export are replaced by smaller highly automated and flexibly programmable factories sited where the markets are.

    But these flexible factories are being built by OEMs right now. And instead of the expected effect of this allowing production to be decentralised, the opposite is happening, as your own examples show – Toyota, Honda and Nissan moving production further away from their market, back to their headquarters in Japan. The automotive industry has for the last ten years or more operated on the principle of “build in the market you intend to sell in”, so that is nothing new: but your examples show them pulling back. One reason is that with flexible production, you can make everything under one roof; there’s no need to have an assembly facility in Mexico if you have a flexible, automated plant in Japan that can produce vehicles for the Japanese market in one shift and for the US market in the next shift (if you have shifts at all).

    The fear of the automakers is that they will end up making boxes for Apple software: which is where all the money is made.

    They’re afraid of a lot of things, but that isn’t one of them. Firstly if there is a huge increase in software sophistication, they will commission partners (some have the capability to develop in-house, but not all), and secondly, whatever software they use doesn’t affect their core business in any way. If Daimler can maintain a 20% profit margin now, how do you expect this software to change their business model? It’s simply a component they buy in like any other. And if “making boxes” is so unprofitable, why do Apple insist on making their own boxes, rather than doing a Google/Android, only make the software, give it away to whoever wishes to use it, and collect the data?

  • terence patrick hewett

    As you very well know Kat that engineering is incremental and the technology is advancing so fast that it is inevitable that any comment on this subject is out of date before it has been written.

    None of us can really know how this is all going to pan out. That Babbage, Ada Lovelace and the good Rev. Boole revolving digitally in a Cork churchyard could presage the computer is remarkable.

    When we automation engineers were busy putting millions of oiks out of work, not a peep from the chatterati did we hear. Most engineers come from the same demographic as those that they were displacing so there was a lot of simpathy and amelioration going on. There is hardly a university that does not have a department dedicated to the reduction of the impact of technologial change.

    But now we are targeting those further up the pecking order we get all the hand-wringing. To us it’s just the proto-machines of the third industrial revolution and we will adapt to them as we adapted before. What actually makes me laugh out loud is that they think that their fear and pain is of a higher order than a factory worker replaced by a machine. I suppose it is some compensation for all the past patronisation and after having spent thousands in gold and years slaving in university for peanuts we get to put everyone out of work!!!

  • eamoncorbett

    Subsidising Nissan with tariff relief could only be done legally when Brexit happens as doing it now would amount to illegal state aid and violate EU rules.

  • Katyusha

    Indeed, these days it seems that my job is to put myself out of a job – whether it be through inverse design algorithms which leave the aerodynamicist in the same pinch as the draftsmen of old, or through future-gazing and demonstrating the final demise of the diesel engine. But then, crystal-ball gazing is near impossible, and its only been kept alive for the last twenty years by sheer ingenuity. Maybe someone will surprise me!

    Marx would have viewed it as our final liberation from the tyranny of work. There is no good reason why humans should be obliged to work 40 hours a week if they can spend those days in idle leisure while the means of production whirrs along by itself, freeing people from the dull drudgery of labour to devote themselves to the enjoyment and fulfillment of life, rather than sustenance. But unfortunately, as ever, the political revolution required to match our technological revolution never took place. And the future in that sphere is even harder to predict than the engineering one; for at least you can trust an engineer to act rationally… at times!

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Yep. The political revolution is the one that’s needed. To go with the future outlined above, we need workless incomes and education for leisure.

    If they don’t happen, prepare for revolution – unless we are all dying of thirst in a dustbowl before it can happen.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    “Well of course the United Kingdom would not be so stupid to leave the customs union in 2019”

    “actually knew what they were talking about”

    Your optimism is heartening, but not convincing. These people didn’t have an effing clue, and never did. Brexit was based on xenophobia and lies, all the way from the top to the bottom, with not an iota of insight or intelligence throughout. the only good thing that will come out of it, hopefully, is Scottish independence.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Would you accept the alternative interpretation that says the UK government is too stupid to know how to leave the EU customs union?

  • terence patrick hewett

    I have always found much of engineering to be a blessed sanity free zone!!!

    During my ongoing war with the wretched bean counters I have perpetrated some very eccentric designs simply from the joy of the bizarre: the aforesaid persons only pay attention to the bottom line and do not realise that they are having the p*ss taken out of them something rotten!!!

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Yes, I would. I would accept almost anything which took that into account. The latest speculation on the Nissan deal is that May has promised to stay within the customs union. If the EU stick to their guns this also implies free movement, I understand. So what seems to be shaping up is non-membership, no input, but paying into the EU, and accepting free movement.

    Looks like Brexit was really worth it!!!