A former ambassador to Japan has said it's 'fanciful' to think Honda's decision to close its Swindon plant had nothing to do with Brexit.

Speaking to the Guardian, Sir David Warren, said: “The idea that Brexit uncertainty is irrelevant to this is fanciful. How are Honda supposed to calculate the costs and benefits of staying in the UK in the overall global context against such lack of clarity on the future terms of trade?”

Sir David, British ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012, said Brexit supporters who seized on Honda’s statement that its decision was not down to Brexit were missing the point.

He said that the Japanese government would be “privately conscious of the danger of the massively important UK/Japan trade and investment relationship – and other foreign direct investment – being held hostage by an internal debate within the Conservative party that it is proving difficult to resolve”.