Adding a slightly different view to this last bit, wasn't the reason we ended up with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda building factories here in the first place to get round the import tax on cars built in Japan - i.e. outside the EU?
Yes, that's right. Why do you think big business is so against leaving the EU? Cars built at the Nissan plant at Sunderland, the Toyota Plant at Derby, the Honda plant at Reading and the Peugeot plant at Ryton (the old Rootes plant that was rescued by Peugeot) will be imports from outside the EU so will be uneconomical to sell in Europe as they will have import duty slapped on them. The manufacturers will do as others have done (Ford, Vauxhall) and move production to Czechoslovakia, Spain, Austria, etc, all EU countries. That'll really do our economy and unemployment figures a power of good.....
Sorry, I forgot, there'll be all the job vacancies left by all the EU migrants that we kick out. This is also something I know a bit about as my partner is an EU migrant. She has done her fair share of immigrant work in the past and the reason why the migrants come here from the other EU countries is because there is the work and they are the only people prepared to do it. They take the jobs that British workers won't do. Without the migrants our hotel, catering, and food producing industry, not to mention the NHS, would collapse. My partner worked in an onion packing plant supplying a number of different supermarkets, 6 til 6 every day, day and night shifts. 12 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week. That's a 60 or 72 hour working week at £7.20 an hour minimum wage. Illegal under the work time directive which says nobody can be made to work more than 48 hours in a week but it doesn't apply if the staff are employed by an agency and supplied to the employer. In this area there are literally hundreds of similar packing plants supplying every supermarket with every item of fresh fruit, veg and the fresh cut flowers you buy for your missus when you need to earn some brownie points. So when you see Grown in the UK on the veg you've just bought from Tesco, it may have been grown here but it's been harvested, graded, cleaned, packed and dispatched to the supermarket by an army of Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, etc. Ever wondered why the cleaners and porters in hospitals don't speak English? The migrants are the only ones that will do the work. The number of immigrants may put a strain on the NHS but without them there would be no NHS. Same goes for the stuff you order from Amazon, the warehouse staff are supplied through labour agencies and the British unemployed won't do that work, it's beneath them, they'd rather sit on their arses watching Jeremy Kyle on their 50" TV and collecting their benefits. They certainly wouldn't go out and do a 12 hour shift for 5 days a week even if it does pay £430 a week, that's to much like hard work, they'll leave that to the immigrants to do.
OK rant over, now back to cars.....
Now we have Toyotas built by Peugeot (think it's the 1007/Prius but might have the model name and number wrong, little 3 cylinder job the size of a plant pot and about as attractive!) in France and sold not only as Toyots but as Peugeots as well.
It's the Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo but that's nothing new. Why would two manufacturers design and build two near identical cars aimed at the same market when they can pool their resources and collaborate on designing and producing one with minor differences? That's been going on for years. Doesn't the Honda Accord, Triumph Acclaim mean anything?
If the Japs can find (and exploit) loopholes, there's still hope for your business Richard, even if we do leave the EU. Like Simon says, the EU countries still have their cars to sell and if they stop us selling our cars (even secondhand ones imported from the USA) in Eirope then there will be a lot of French, German and other cars growing old and rusty in the dockyard having never been registered!
I don't see why. The EU could impose import duty on anything produced in the UK, just as they do with anything else produced outside the EU, which would kill our motor manufacturing business overnight but I doubt it would have too much affect the other way round. It might affect the likes of Peugeot, Citroen and Renault but they'd probably see it as a bonus as they'd no longer have to bother producing RHD versions but it wouldn't affect Mercedes, BMW or Audi as the stupid Brits would still keep buying them irrespective of the cost. The only reason I can move secondhand cars from the USA to France is because they are coming from another EU country. They still have import duty on them, I pay that when they arrive here. They could still be sent to France but could never be registered as they don't have an EU CoC. They can't be registered if they go direct from the US as it is outside the EU and they don't have an EU CoC and while they can be registered here because of our IVA scheme, if we are outside the EU they will still be an import from outside the EU.
The Lamb Wars in the late 70s/early 80s is another example, the French didn't like the fact our lamb was cheaper (and better!) than theirs so they tried to stop the free trade that was meant to be part of the Common Market as it was then or European Economic Community or whatever they called the EU at that point in history.
But that's just the French farmers and they'll protest against anything if it means they get a day off, just like the current strikes that started this thread in the first place.