Yesterday Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, challenged Michael Gove to spell out whether the ‘Operation Kingfisher’ fund would cover forced shutdowns at BMW Cowley in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.
Until now the details of the government’s ‘Operation Kingfisher’ fund, intended to help bail out businesses in the aftermath of a No-Deal Brexit, have been sketchy. But despite this, Gove repeatedly referred to the fund in his remarks to parliament yesterday. Dodds pushed Gove to be concrete and spell out whether the fund would be available to cover forced shutdowns. Dodds outlined how the earlier shutdown this year was brought forward because of concerns about Brexit-related chaos, which meant the upcoming shutdown could put workers on unpaid leave.
Dodds underlined how the previous shutdown had meant many BMW Cowley workers had to choose between ‘missing a rent or mortgage payment or a family holiday.’ She demanded that Gove be specific in his response, asking for him to outline whether the shutdown would be covered or not.
Dodds said: “Now the prorogation of parliament has been declared unlawful, I can get back to work fighting for my constituents. Yesterday I pushed the government to announce whether ‘Operation Kingfisher’ funds would cover a shutdown at the BMW Cowley plant as a result of a No-Deal Brexit. I was disappointed that the Government failed to directly answer my question. The BMW Cowley workers deserve clarity and protection from a No-Deal scenario, and I will continue to fight for this on their behalf in parliament.”