BMW highlights EU ‘benefits’ to UK staff

BMW has written to staff in the UK to explain what it sees as ‘significant benefits’ of voting to stay in the EU.

Great Britain will vote on whether to remain a part of the EU on 23 June. But while BMW insists it’s a matter for the British public to decide, the German manufacturer has sent an email to UK-based staff at Rolls-Royce and Mini explaining why it believes remaining in the EU is beneficial. It highlighted free trade and free movement of skills as key reasons to vote against a Brexit.

The email said, ‘The BMW Group believes that the UK is better as a member of the EU than it would be outside it. Free trade is important for international business. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars exports motor cars throughout the EU and imports a significant number of parts through the region.

‘For BMW Group, more than half of Minis built and virtually all the engines and components made in the UK are exported to the EU, with over 150,000 new cars and many hundreds of thousands of parts imported from Europe each year.

Tariff barriers would mean higher costs and higher prices and we cannot assume that the UK would be granted free trade with Europe from outside the EU.

When it comes to regulation, whether the UK remains inside the EU or leaves it, with Europe as the UK’s largest export market by far, we would have to abide by European rules and regulations in any case.

We believe it’s much better to be sat at the table when regulations are set and have a hand in their creation, rather than simply having to accept them.

Finally, we get a significant benefit from the easy movement of our people between the UK and Europe. This allows the rapid transfer of expert knowledge throughout the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and BMW Group networks, building the skill level of our UK workforce.

BMW’s email comes after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said a survey of its members found that most favoured staying within the EU.

However, 200 small companies’ bosses have signed a letter backing an exit, which said it was ‘key to our long-term success’, while employment minister Priti Patel backed Brexit in The Times, arguing that ‘Entrepreneurs are increasingly suffocated by EU rules and have little influence in shaping them.’