Rolls-Royce is stockpiling parts as Brexit chaos threatens 'national crisis'

Businesses are sending a clear message to UK politicians: Stop messing around.Companies and industry ...

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 10:24 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 10:24 AM

Businesses are sending a clear message to UK politicians: Stop messing around.

Companies and industry groups in Britain issued strident warnings against further political turmoil Wednesday after a challenge to Prime Minister Theresa May's leadership underscored the strength of opposition in her own party to her government's plan for Brexit.

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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

Underscoring the high stakes for business, a major UK manufacturing firm confirmed it has activated contingency plans. Airplane engine maker Rolls-Royce (RYCEY) said that it has begun stockpiling parts to help minimize the damage from a disorderly Brexit.

There are only 107 days to go before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, but parliament remains deeply divided on how to break with Britain's biggest trading partner.

May survived a confidence vote on Wednesday. But the divorce deal she negotiated with the European Union still faces long odds in parliament after more than a third of her party rebelled in the vote.

"The utter dismay amongst businesses watching events in Westminster cannot be exaggerated," Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said in a statement.

"Our firms are worried, investors around the world are baffled and disappointed, and markets are showing serious strain as this political saga goes on and on," he added.

Companies across the country have already taken steps to prepare for Brexit.

Big banks including Deutsche Bank (DB), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citi (C) have moved parts of their business out of the United Kingdom.

Panasonic (PCRFY) said in August that it would move its European headquarters to Amsterdam. Other firms have opened offices in the European Union to ensure they can continue to do business.

And German engineering group Schaeffler (SCFLF) said it was going to close two plants in the United Kingdom because of the uncertainty.

Fears over 'no deal'

The most worrying scenario for business is one where Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, leading to new trade barriers.

Aerospace giant Airbus (EADSY) has said it could be forced to quit the country if there's no deal on EU trading arrangements. Carmakers such as Nissan (NSANY), BMW (BMWYY) and Jaguar Land Rover are also heavily exposed.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said that confidence among the group's members has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis.

"We don't know what economic environment we'll be operating within in only 100 days' time ... that makes planning ahead impossible," he said, adding that firms are "crying out for some certainty about the future."

Economic consequences

The deepening confusion over Brexit comes at a terrible time for the British economy.

Data from the Office for National Statistics show the UK economy grew just 0.1% in October compared to the previous month. Industrial production fell 0.6% and manufacturing slumped 0.9%.

Trading conditions are likely to worsen when Britain leaves the European Union on March 29.

The UK government's own analysis shows the economy will take a hit from any kind of Brexit. Crashing out without a deal would sink the UK economy into recession.

"Investment plans have been paused for two and a half years," said Dave Spicer, dean of the Business School at the University of Salford. "Unless a deal is agreed quickly, the country risks sliding towards a national crisis."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 315026

Reported Deaths: 7257
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21684260
Hinds20385416
Harrison17973309
Rankin13650278
Jackson13456246
Madison10130217
Lee9988174
Jones8388163
Forrest7701152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6411148
Lamar624686
Lafayette6210119
Washington5342134
Bolivar4804132
Oktibbeha463298
Panola4601107
Pearl River4524146
Marshall4454103
Warren4397121
Pontotoc421172
Monroe4120133
Union411276
Neshoba4033176
Lincoln3972110
Hancock380287
Leflore3500125
Sunflower336490
Tate335484
Pike3330105
Scott316773
Alcorn313670
Yazoo311870
Itawamba300877
Copiah297865
Coahoma295979
Simpson295388
Tippah289068
Adams288682
Prentiss280360
Marion269680
Leake268673
Wayne262941
Grenada261987
Covington260381
George249448
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Winston227881
Tishomingo227567
Jasper221148
Attala214473
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Holmes189174
Clay185654
Stone183033
Tallahatchie179041
Clarke178180
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164838
Smith162734
Walthall134345
Greene130633
Lawrence129324
Montgomery127242
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121929
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107233
Tunica105726
Claiborne102530
Benton100125
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67631
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540267

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798791529
Mobile41295809
Madison35175506
Tuscaloosa25932455
Shelby25309249
Montgomery24736593
Baldwin21422310
Lee15997172
Calhoun14577319
Morgan14431280
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Marshall12280225
Houston10650282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10075151
St. Clair9955245
Cullman9773194
Lauderdale9465243
DeKalb8866188
Talladega8344176
Walker7261278
Autauga7010108
Jackson6840112
Blount6776139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5583118
Dale4878113
Russell445938
Chilton4383113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia395177
Chambers3598123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303698
Winston275873
Bibb264864
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219069
Fayette213162
Henry190043
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178241
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153657
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140753
Wilcox127430
Bullock123342
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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