Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has described the government’s strategy for Brexit as “laughable”, its EV-focused policy as "non-sensical" and the idea of full autonomy reaching reality in his lifetime as "absurd".
Speaking at the Driving the Future event in London, backed by Aston Martin, Palmer also admitted that the certainty of a No Deal Brexit this year would be preferable to the current uncertainty of negotiations with no clear outcome dragging on.
Palmer on Brexit: 'I'd rather leave with No Deal than drag negotiations on'
Having planned for Britain to leave the EU at the end of March and again now at the end of October, Palmer believes that clarity would likely be more beneficial to Aston Martin than extending negotiations, even if the latter offered the prospect of better business conditions in the long-term.
“Every time we have to prepare to leave it ties up working capital and brains on something that may or may not happen," he said. "The car industry has proved itself very adaptable, from dealing with tsunamis in Japan to currency problems in Russia, but the issue with Brexit is we don’t yet know what problem we are trying to solve.
“First and foremost I think we now need certainty. I think business was pretty clear that it would prefer a deal with free trade with Europe, and it is true we are looking at a cliff-edge without one, but at this stage a decision is better than no decision.
“It’s not great, but we have modelled No Deal and run the scenarios. What we find harder to work with is goalposts that keep moving every six months. We need an outcome, and the truth is that we have debated our negotiating tactics in public, while the EU27 have worked with consensus and executed their negotiations brilliantly. Our Brexit strategy has been laughable.”