Is Japan losing faith in the UK — Honda

A mechanic works on a Honda engine

The Swindon plant produces more than 100,000 Civic models and is the firm’s only factory in the EU

Sky News said that the announcement by Honda could come on Tuesday, and that the plant was scheduled to close in 2022.

Local Tory MP Justin Tomlinson said job losses are not expected before 2021 and blamed "global trends and not Brexit" for the closure.

The site in Swindon, about 80 miles west of London, is the nation's fourth-largest automotive plant and employs about 3,500 workers where the Honda Civic hatchback is made.

Spokesmen for Honda were not immediately available to comment on the report. Honda also has a plant in Turkey, which is likely a more cost-effective source.

Nissan said it had made the decision "for business reasons", but added that "the continued uncertainty around the U.K.'s future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future".

Honda is expected to increase production in its home country of Japan to compensate for the Swindon closure. The company now employs around 3,500 people at its Swindon plant.

Honda, for its part, declined to comment on the closure.

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"We take our responsibilities to our associates very seriously and will always communicate any significant news with them first", the firm said.

"The UK forms part of our global network of manufacturing plants, so the only place we produce the vehicle we produce at Swindon is in Swindon itself", Honda Europe's senior vice-president Ian Howells told the BBC a year ago.

Speaking in September, Ian Howells, the senior vice-president of Honda Europe, said the company remained "right behind" its production facility in Swindon and was not considering moving the plant out of the United Kingdom after Brexit.

As the political impasse drags on, investments in the British automotive industry almost halved past year to 589 million pounds (US$761 million), the lowest since the global financial crisis, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers.

"Japan and the European Union have a free-trade agreement, guaranteeing tariff-free access".

"Sadly this is a hard blow to Britain's auto industry, and I doubt it will be the end of the redundancies this year".

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