Brexit would put the brakes on Britain, F1 bosses warn

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Following concerns from Formula 1 team bosses, reported by Autosport magazine, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has warned that Brexit would “put Britain into the gravel trap”.

Seven of the ten current F1 teams, including world champions Mercedes, are based in the UK.

Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer of the Woking-based McLaren team, told Autosport that after Brexit “It would cost us more time and be more difficult to recruit” and that border restrictions will mean higher costs, as well as “more paperwork, more administration”.

Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, which has its F1 factories in Northamptonshire, described Brexit as “not a very pleasant development”.

Meanwhile, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has suggested that his team will gain as EU staff leave the UK. “I suspect in the near future we will find a lot of people that are knocking on the door of Maranello,” he said, referring to the team’s factory in northern Italy.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Right now Britain is leading the race, but Brexit would put us into the gravel trap.
Our homegrown F1 teams rely on European talent to build winning cars and rely on our frictionless border to get them to the track. New restrictions will only hold them back.
Liberal Democrats demand better. We demand that the people get the final say, with the option of an Exit from Brexit.
It’s time to put the brakes on Brexit and get the UK back on pole position.

The full article in Autosport, by Scott Mitchell and Ben Anderson, is worth reading. They quote McLaren’s chief operations officer, Jonathan Neale:

The logistical concern of border restrictions is linked to the third “pillar”, which is the impact it will have on the cost of making sure things run smoothly.

It is going to cost more, it will be more paperwork, more administration, it’s more time.

In some cases complex systems are coming in, going back out and crossing borders, multiple times.

When you do that – if you’re having to do the customs forms, pay the VAT, do this, do the trade tariff – those inefficiencies just cost you not only time but it puts working capital requirements up.

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Adair Broughton

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2 Comments

  • Could somebody please explain how support for formula 1 is consistent with the Party’s environmental and global warming concerns ?

  • John Chandler 8th Dec '18 - 8:48pm

    Formula 1 has gone through a load of changes in recent years to reduce environmental impact, including reduction in testing time, introduction of KERS (kinetic energy recovery), smaller engines. Indeed, the FIA considers F1 (and Formula E, the all electric formula) as two ways to pioneer new, greener technology for vehicles.

    In other news, I’ve yet to see anything at all that will see a positive outcome from Brexit (except maybe some temporary profits for “disaster capitalist” hedge funds). It’s no surprise Formula 1 will suffer as well – another world-leading British industry we’re determined to kill off in the pursuit of unicorn ideology.

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