This was never supposed to get political, but it appears David Cameron has other ideas.
On the day that we gather together the six hatchbacks that represent what’s left of the British volume car industry in 2016, the British prime minister comes on the radio to announce the particulars of the bones thrown to British voters in order to keep the UK inside the EU. They don’t sound like particularly juicy bones. That funny whistling noise must be the sound of Nigel Farage rubbing his hands together.
The cars I’m looking at, collected in a gravel car park in rural Surrey, seem to me more like reasons to vote ‘in’ than ‘out’. Nissan Qashqai, Honda Civic, Mini Clubman, Vauxhall Astra, Toyota Auris and new Infiniti Q30: it’s easy to forget that we still make so many big-hitters. It’s harder to forget, though, that every one of them has germinated and flourished with Britain well and truly in the ‘in’ camp, entirely open to the grand European project. With various car industry bosses already threatening to ‘reconsider’ their UK manufacturing operations in the event of a ‘Brexit’, changing the status quo would seem to put the existence of most of these cars at risk, or at least risk forcing their factories overseas.