The Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port could be axed after No Deal, the head of the company warned today.
Carlos Tavares, chief executive of parent firm PSA, threatened to move construction of future Vauxhall Astras and Opel Astras to southern Europe if post-Brexit trading terms were not satisfactory.
The move would almost certainly lead to the closure of the site in Cheshire, putting 1,000 jobs at risk.
Mr Tavares told the Financial Times: ‘Frankly I would prefer to put it (the Astra car) in Ellesmere Port but if the conditions are bad and I cannot make it profitable then I have to protect the rest of the company and I will not do it.
‘We have an alternative to Ellesmere Port.’
Shifting production of future Astra models from Ellesmere Port (file picture) would almost certainly lead to the closure of the site in Cheshire, putting 1,000 jobs at risk
That would leave Vauxhall’s van plant in Luton as its only presence in the UK.
The warning came after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told Mr Johnson on Friday that a No Deal Brexit was an ‘existential threat’ to the industry.
Mr Johnson has solemnly vowed to take the UK out of the bloc by the end of October with or without a deal.
Over the weekend, Mr Johnson set up a new structure of Government committees to try to ensure Brexit by Halloween.
The Daily Operations Committee, chaired by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, will meet every weekday in the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms and will be responsible for overseeing all of the Government’s preparations for leaving the EU, and a possible no-deal exit.
The committee will meet for the first time tomorrow and a Downing Street source said it was being structured in such a way so that the Treasury would be ‘a motor for delivering Brexit, not the anchor’.
Downing Street has also announced an Exit, Economy and Trade Committee will be chaired by the Prime Minister and meet regularly.
It will ‘have a broad remit and will handle write rounds’, particularly focused on Britain’s future relationships around the world.
The Exit Strategy committee, known as XS, will meet twice a week and be chaired by the PM.
XS will meet for the first time on Monday, when it will be chaired by Mr Gove in the absence of the Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson will chair the following meeting of the committee on Thursday, Downing Street said.
The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, reported that Mr Johnson was set to launch the biggest advertising campaign since the Second World War to get Britain ready for a no-deal Brexit.
A £100 million advertising campaign will be launched to prepare the country for no-deal, according to the newspaper.
Newly appointed trade minister Conor Burns welcomed the Brexit ad blitz but criticised the previous Government’s failure to adequately fund for no-deal.
He told BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour: ‘It is really important that businesses that are not yet geared up, get geared up because this is hoving into reality.
‘It is a very serious possibility and I just wish the previous government which was not led by Boris had got on with this a lot earlier.’
Over the weekend, Boris Johnson (pictured giving a speech in Manchester on Saturday) set up a new structure of Government committees to try to ensure Brexit by Halloween
Mr Burns added: ‘Showing that we are aggressively preparing, showing that the Treasury Hammond gloom is behind us and the Treasury are financing the preparations for no-deal is the best way for us to approach our European partners and say, ‘look we want a deal and let’s get back round the table and let’s sort this out’.
‘I just wish the previous government which was not led by Boris had got on with this a lot earlier.’
The Institute for Government (IfG) has advised Mr Johnson that a no-deal Brexit would dominate Government’s agenda ‘for years to come’.
The Prime Minister will need to kick-start the Government’s no-deal preparations immediately by moving thousands of public servants into operational facilities, the IfG said in a paper released on Sunday.
It added that Mr Johnson would also have to introduce legislation ensuring direct rule in Northern Ireland from October 31.
Regardless of these measures, after a no-deal Brexit the resources of the Parliament and civil service would be drained and struggling businesses would need Government support, the IfG paper said.