The closure of the Britishvolt factory has been described as a “monument to global Britain’s empty hype” by Bloomberg columnist Matthew Brooker.
The electric car battery company collapsed last week almost a year to the day since Boris Johnson, the then-prime minister, trumpeted the number of jobs being created at the site.
Announcing the Government was backing the ambitious project with cash from the Automotive Transformation Fund 12 months ago, Johnson said Britishvolt would employ 3,000 people directly – with another 5,000 in the pipeline.
Britishvolt was expected to make 300,000 battery units a year, fulfilling the demand for around one in four vehicles sold on the British market.
But almost exactly a year on, the site on the outskirts of Blyth, Northumberland, is deserted, save for two security guards who confirmed no workers were there.
Commenting on the bankruptcy, Lord Hague said it was “part of the damage” of Brexit, adding it was “very concerning”.
“It’s a sad reflection probably on Brexit because of course, what do you need in some of these technologies, you need scale, you need to know there’s a big market,” he told the News Agents podcast.
“If you are going to succeed with batteries, you need big manufacturers to be in the same market using those batteries. So, that’s part of the damage that has been done by leaving the EU.”
Brooker echoed his thoughts in a recent Bloomberg column, saying Britishvolt will become a “byword for manufacturing decline and failed industrial strategy”.
“More than most industries, auto manufacturing shows how Brexit was a dream of independence in an interdependent world”, he said.
Read the column in full here.