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Rolls-Royce urges May to avoid a hard Brexit

ReutersLONDON (Reuters) — Carmaker Rolls-Royce called on the British government to avoid a disorderly Brexit and said it was building up some stock, expanding warehouse capacity and training suppliers for customs changes in case Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

Britain, the world’s fifth-largest economy, is due to leave the globe’s biggest trading bloc in under 80 days but a Brexit agreement looks set to be voted down by lawmakers next week, making a no-deal exit and potential trade barriers more likely. The BMW-owned brand, which reported record 2018 sales, said that despite the steps it was taking to prepare for Brexit, it was impossible to predict what would happen if there is not a managed transition after March 29.

“We are highly dependent on a proper, working frictionless chain of goods and this whole company hinges on just-in-time deliveries,” Chief Executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes told reporters.

“We urge the government to avoid any hard Brexit,” he said.

Asked whether Rolls-Royce, which builds all of its roughly 4,000 cars per year at its Goodwood factory in southern England, would ever make some models overseas, Mueller-Oetvoes said:

“This is a no-go,” he said. “Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain, we are committed to Britain.”

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