Socially-distanced event to support UNITE’s #GetADeal call to save BMW jobs at Cowley

Thursday October 8th at 1:00pm – 2:00pm, outside the BMW works car park entrance on the Ring Road.


Oxford for Europe and other pro-European activists are holding a socially-distanced public demonstration on Thursday at the BMW Mini works in Cowley, in support of the UNITE union’s new call for a Brexit deal that secures the future of  the UK car industry. 4,500 jobs at Cowley could be at risk if a no-deal Brexit  results in a 10% EU tariff on UK car exports.

On Thursday as part of a  European Movement nation-wide day of action,  campaigners will be lobbying MPs and peers to say “No to No Deal”, while at BMW Cowley local activists will back UNITE’s new public call to the government to “#GetADeal”.

IMPORTANT : Social Distancing – legal requirements.

  • Please stay 2 metres apart from others unless from the same household, and wear face covering at all times.
  •  Form in separate groups of 6, each separate group to be 3-4 metres from another group.
  • Please do not sing or shout directly towards another person.

Further details:

Colin Gordon, press oficer at Oxford for Europe commented: “Concern about Brexit and the future
of the BMW Mini plan is not new in Oxford. Last year we ran a social media campaign to alert
BMW car workers to the Brexit threat, along with a public meeting in Cowley and other campaign
events. It is good news that UNITE is alert to the threat of a hard Brexit to its members’ jobs in the
UK automotive industry. Now, alongside the UK car manufacturers, they are finally responding in
an urgent way.”

On Thursday as part of a European Movement nation-wide day of action, campaigners will be
lobbying MPs and peers to say “No to No Deal”, while at BMW Cowley local activists will back
UNITE’s new public call to the government to “#GetADeal”.

Dr Peter Burke, chair of Oxford for Europe, said: “We always knew that leaving the European
Union would be difficult, complex and painful. Not even the experts, and certainly not the
government, realised just how painful it would be, occurring against the background of the
pandemic. The government is continuing to grandstand and make vacuous demands which in its
heart of hearts it knows the EU will not agree to. It’s just playing chicken with the lives and
livelihoods of people in the UK manufacturing sector, including BMW. There needs to be a deal
which safeguards not only exports but supply chains. Otherwise companies like BMW will relocate
to where the majority of their output is sold, i.e. inside the EU single market. We need to do
everything we can to stop that from happening.”

Councillor John Tanner [Littlemore, Labour], chair of Oxford European Association, said:
“The British Government should do all it can to prevent a no-deal car crash when the transition
period ends on 31st December. It is vital for the prosperity of Oxford that Mini can continue to sell
freely to the rest of Europe and get essential spare parts from around the globe.
“Giant queues of lorries at the ports, delays to just-in-time deliveries and taxes on trade would
threaten thousands of skilled jobs at Cowley. The Mini Plant is Oxford’s pride and joy. Boris
Johnson should get a grip and get a deal before it’s too late.”

Former council leader Bob Price said: “Motor companies across Europe face losses of £100 billion
over the next five years if the government fails to reach a trade agreement with the EU this month.
Tariffs, regulatory checks and other trade barriers will disrupt closely linked supply chains and add
crippling costs that are likely to mean closures and job losses across the 100 production sites in the
UK. The impact on Oxford’s economy would be devastating.”

A BMW executive commented in 2019: “We need frictionless trade and a no-deal Brexit will not
give us that from what we can see.”