Leave-supporting Llanelli left reeling as manufacturing industry moves out due to Brexit

The Welsh town of Llanelli – which voted 56.7 per cent to leave the EU in the referendum – has been left reeling after a major manufacturer upped sticks due to Brexit.

Global firm Schaeffler announced this week that it is to close its plant in Llanelli due to uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The closure was described as the “tremor that will lead to the Brexit earthquake” in the Welsh Assembly, with Juergen Ziegler, the company’s regional CEO, saying that the “need to plan for various complex scenarios” due to Brexit had played a part in their decision to leave Wales.

“A global business needs to regularly review market conditions and strive to optimise its footprint across different regions,” he said.

“The proposed measures we have taken for the UK reflect this business reality.”

Speaking in the Senedd, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price described the closure as the beginning of an earthquake set off by Brexit.

He also described the Labour Welsh Government as being “asleep at the wheel as we are being driven off a cliff” after it became apparent that they had only learnt of the closure this morning.

Welsh Assembly Member Lee Waters described the announcement as “very troubling”, with hundreds of skilled workers set to be out of work owing to the move.

And Plaid Cymru AM for Mid and West Wales Helen Mary Jones said it was “just the first step in the destruction of the manufacturing industry in Wales”.

“With the almost identical and equally destructive Brexit policies of the Conservatives and Labour, Wales faces an economic onslaught from Brexit with our communities paying the price.

“This will be the economic reality of Brexit. We need certainty on the negotiations before March. Without clarity we will be facing a Blind Brexit, with the business critical detail decided from a position of weakness outside Europe.

“Labour must change its policy and realise that the best option for Welsh businesses is to stay in the single market and the Customs Union.

“At this time of economic turmoil Wales needs more than a lethargic Labour party and callous Conservative party, both pursuing policies in their own interest and against those of our nation.”

Featured image: Courtesy of Hywel Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


46 Responses

    1. M.Macdonald

      The comments on this article, including this one, show the same judgemental, sneering arrogant attitude that led to people with different life experiences and hence opinions, voting for Brexit in the first place (or Trump for that matter). As a passionate remainer, I refute the idea that we voted remain from some sort of superior wisdom. More constructively imo, why not reach out to people so disaffected that they would vote for anything other than the status quo. Show them enough respect to grnuinely enquire what they wanted to see changed that made them vote leave. Otherwise we move to further estrangement and conflict.

      1. Peta Malthouse

        Yep… Ed Balls went to the US to find out why they voted Trump but the BBC can’t even be bothered to ask the people outside their regional studios

      2. John Browne

        No. I am angry. I am angry that my future wellbeing is being taken away, my ability to work and live abroad is being removed and our place in the world is being diminished. It is time we stood up against the defeatists who voted leave rather than give apologies for their actions.

      3. Because they want to exclude all non white non locals and anyone they personally do not approve of. I do not approve of these people. There is no healing this. The UK is over.

      4. Allister Whitehead

        when a leading brexiteer says Brexit voters are being condescended to and patronised by wealthy remainers, the opposite is true, It’s an obvious tactic t accuse your enemy of your own crimes. In truth, there really is vast political illiteracy in this country , which the wealthiest in our society have and will continue to exploit. Brexit was a clear example of this. Do you seriously think anyone but the super rich stock brokers will gain anything from Brexit? The Brexit voters you refer to are already live under the tory boot willingly, do you really think they’re going to change their minds over Brexit? These people vote to have their own public money syphoned out of the country under the pretence given to them by their masters that “the other lot would be even worse”.

        there is no democracy to speak of in this country. the majority are already brainwashed beyond repair.

      5. PC

        You’re wasting your time with your suggestion and being patronizing doing it. It was what it always was, ignorant lashing out, fed by decades of anti-EU propaganda from the mainstream press and by then venting their fury about the state of the economy on the first opportunity that arose despite it not actually being the cause of their misery. And virtually none of them will change their minds as a result or admit that they were wrong just because it would be too humiliating for them to do so.

  1. LMAO why would you vote to leave if you relied on a few key industries and companies ? So happy these people are getting what they deserve ! sucks for the few remain voters but overall really chuffed to bits with this news , more of this please !

    1. josef serge

      “Chuffed to bits” are you? So you must presumably live abroad then, if you think this economic tsunami is not going to wreck the whole country. How nice of you to spare a half a thought for “the few remain voters” (ie 44% of those who voted, only slightly lower than the percentage for England, who voted Leave by a higher margin than Wales, overall.)
      Check it out here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36606245
      But never mind, so long as it makes you happy. And as for your request for “more of this please”, don’t worry, there will be – from every part of the UK, even your little imaginary bubble of safety.

      1. Ian From Berks

        Josef, what David is trying to say is that many Leave voters voted themselves out of jobs, like me he has scant sympathy for them. My sadness is for all those people who voted Remain and who are now totally ignored as well as our young people who have had the elderly determine what opportunities they will have.

      2. Jim

        Allegedly most remain voters have now backed leave so the 44% argument is no longer valid. Perhaps 4% of remainers still want to remain. According to a recent survey only 9% of remain voters still want to remain. I feel for the 9% but the 91% of remain voters who now don’t mind leaving will get what the now are backing.

        1. Hugh

          Dodgy stats, mate. “Accroding to a recent survey” – what survey is this, I wonder. Who carried it out? And why? Your figures are ridiculously low. I am sure the 700,000+ on the march the other week would agree with me.

          1. Adrian

            54%, whilst a ‘majority’ isn’t what one ought to expect given the past two years of ‘the bleedin’ obvious’ coming out. That 46% remain ‘leave’ saddens me to the core. I voted remain not because I knew all the facts: I just felt it was the right thing to do – I liked being European. We are now a very divided Britain I’m afraid. It will take decades to fix this.

    2. Tony

      I’m a rabid Remainer and don’t appreciate comments like this from other ‘remainers’. Many people made the decision to vote leave based on lies and illegal activities from the monied classes. They were often scared into voting that way by the very people who were crying ‘project fear’ that this sort of thing would happen. Many have now changed their minds which is why we should all be extremely vocal in demanding a #PeoplesVote to try to stop these closures.

  2. Kay

    Oh dear, what a shame, never mind! There’ll be plenty of work in the fields pulling leeks and digging tatties. Not so nice as a warm dry factory. But hey, they knew what they were voting for, so I guess it’s alright then.

    1. Josef Serge

      Pretty badly by the look of it. But how’s ‘Leave’ working out for you, England? Given that England vote by a higher margin than Wales to ‘Leave’?

  3. Kay

    Oh dear, what a shame, never mind! Though I hear there are going to be plenty of jobs pulling leeks and digging potatoes. Not as nice and warm as working in a factory, but hey, they knew what they were voting for.

  4. Starshine

    Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. You wanted Brexit – now take it. This happens when people “sign a contract” without reading. I would never buy something important without seeing it. I rather say No, but with Brexit a lot of people said yes without knowing exactly the deal. And now they cry like little babies. I have no pity with them anymore.

  5. Gerry

    Sad for the staff who voted for Remain. As for those who voted leave, they deserve a good kicking at the factory gates. Will Farage be there when the gates are locked for good to thank you and pat you on the back??? Will he f….!

  6. Amused Londoner

    Oh no! What a horrible shame! Suck it up and starve, you backwards racists. This is what you wanted, this is what you voted for, this is what you get. Now suffer.

  7. bluemax

    I hope the good people of Llanelli are happy. They got what they wanted. They wanted to leave and it will happen. Everything else is irrelevant. The side-effects don’t matter. You wanted to leave, and like everyone on the leave side keeps on saying, you knew what you were voting for.


    1. booleanboy

      Ah, an erudite, informed comment from someone who has clearly considered all the implications of the tantrum vote two and a half years ago. I think we should let the unemployed former Schaeffler decide whether it is ‘fake noos’ don’t you? Fortunately the rest of the country is a little smarter than you and is coming to realise how they were manipulated. Get over it – brexit isn’t going to happen.

  8. Barrie Freeman

    The usual bull, a company closes down and Brexit is blamed. How come the UK has had the biggest influx of foreign investment other than China this year. Blame Brexit. I voted remain and I am an old person, however I have been appalled at the stance of those non elected Eurocrats and their attitude which is too make the UK suffer because they voted to leave their cosy club. I ma now fully committed to leaving and I believe we will be better off outside the EU

    1. Anthony

      Like our civil service and prime minister then. When did you vote for Theresa May as Prime Minister; we never vote for them and MPs don’t even vote them in; parties elect their leaders.

      MEPs elected by us have to elect the commission. Oh and not forgetting every country has a veto. When have you seen a single MP with the power to stop a policy approved by the majority?

      You voted remain and yet you repeat the same false statements as leavers who have no clue about the EU’s structure and processes. I didn’t know exactly in 2016 but I researched the EU’s policies and processes rather than the Daily Mail.

    2. Rtfazeberdee

      Brexit is blamed because that is the reason the company gave for moving the jobs to their EU locations. Can you provide a link to the “largest influx of foreign investment” – sounds an interesting read

    3. Mudassar Rana

      Are you off your trolley. Do you expect the eu to roll over and give you membership benefits without paying the dues?

      No custom union means no tariff free trade – means foreign investors will move.
      Uncertainty means currency devalues – as a net importer it means higher inflation
      Higher inflation eventually means higher interest rates.
      We lost our triple AAA credit rating which means govt debt will cost more to service
      Since we dont have anything to privatise – how do you propse to pay the debt off?
      In the last 8 years we have borrowed more than the rest of our history combined – why? To pay off the folly of the banksters.
      This idea that europeans are unelected misses the point that our upper house of parliament is unelected, our head of state is unelected and the fact that 60% of the people didnt actually vote for the PM shouldnt go amiss!

      The stupidity of folk and it is the elderley who wont even be here to suffer knows no bounds. They cry about sovereignty, forgetting that since the end of WW2 it is the yanks who ran our foreign policy!

    4. Julia

      I don’t understand people who expect the EU to take measures to protect Britain or give Britain what it wants out of the goodness of their hearts. The EU exists to protect the rights of its member states, to promote what is best for them and as a bloc to get the best possible deal for the EU. This is what they have done – as their members pay them to do. Britain never held all the cards. It was never going to get the better in a deal. Thinking it was, was at the very least, naive. They have effectively demonstrated the strength of negotiating from the POV of a bloc of countries rather than one small island.

  9. Hugh

    Dodgy stats, mate. “Accroding to a recent survey” – what survey is this, I wonder. Who carried it out? And why? Your figures are ridiculously low. I am sure the 700,000+ on the march the other week would agree with me.

  10. Izzy

    Plaid Cymru is being ridiculous to say Labour’s Brexit policy is almost identical to the Tories. Labour has always said we have to stay in some kind of Customs Union. The Tories hate the idea.

  11. Tony

    I suspect many of the more puerile comments left here are not actually from Remainers but the hoards of trolls that look to give remain a bad name.

    All job losses are devastating for families, and maybe some of these firms can be persuaded to change their minds too.

  12. Mudassar Rana

    One wonders what did the brexiteers expect? You have the largest trade bloc without tariffs and you choose to leave. Since the 80’s our economic plan was basically bring in foreign investment rather than use our own money. So you have yanks, japs all bringing in billions because they want to have access to the EU and then murdoch tells shit for brains that lets get out and shit for brains follows. So what is to stop these companies shifting new investment to Ireland, Poland or even Lithuania! The worst thing round the corner is that we will be held hostage to sign trade deals with nations on their terms – and the first to go will be american firms running lucrative NHS contracts. Within the next decade the people will burn the effigies of the likes of Boris Johnson.

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