James O'Brien Agrees With Leading Brexit Economist: Leaving EU Will Kill Car Industry

4 February 2019, 10:58

James O'Brien wasn't surprised by Nissan's decision to move manufacturing of their new car from Sunderland to Japan - after all, he heard the leading Brexit economist saying it would happen.

Nissan had previously announced they would be building the new X-Trail in the north-east, but this weekend announced that would now be manufactured in Japan.

James said Brexit was partly to blame although by no means the only factor in the car company's decision.

And he said he knew the car industry would flee the UK after Brexit - because Jacob Rees-Mogg's favoured economist Patrick Minford had predicted it.

He said: "I idea that everybody who voted leave voted to destroy British agriculture and British industry is palpably absurd.

"It's odd that Rees-Mogg and his mates have become the maypole around which leave now dances because they do not speak for any leave voter that I know.

"They have not voted to destroy British industry and agriculture and yet that's what the ERG and their pocket economist Patrick Minford are utterly convinced will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit."

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

And to back that up, he played a clip from Mr Minford: "It's perfectly true that if you remove protections, the sort that have been given to the car industry and to other manufacturing industries inside the protection wall, you're going to have a change in the situation in that industry.

"You are going to have to run it down. It will be in your interests to do it, just in the same way we ran down the coal industry and the steel industry. These things happen."

So as James pointed out: "If you want to know what agriculture and manufacturing will look like in the event of a no-deal Brexit, have a look at the mining industry in Britain at the moment. And compare it with what it looked like in 1978.

"No-deal Brexit will mean the destruction of the automotive industry. Don't take my word for it, take the words of Patrick Minford, the economist cited by Jacob Rees-Mogg. He's the ERG's house economist."