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British sports car maker McLaren Automotive will keep production in the UK despite Brexit

It is “logical” for McLaren Automotive to continue manufacturing in the U.K. in spite of Brexit concerns, the firm’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

“You only need one manufacturing location for 5,000 cars a year,” Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer of McLaren told CNBC’s “Street Signs.”

“It would be uneconomic to do anything else,” he said at the 2019 Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore.

The firm is “born and bred” in the United Kingdom, said Flewitt, adding: “We started growing in the U.K. and staying in the U.K. is the most logical, most commercially sensible thing for us to do.”

The U.K.’s Oct. 31 deadline to leave the European Union is quickly approaching. Optimism amid reports that a draft Brexit deal is in the works sent the pound up sharply against the dollar.

Earlier this year, financial services firms moved more than $1 trillion in assets to the EU and mulled shifting operations to other parts of the continent amid concerns over the divorce.

But Flewitt said, in the long term, whether Brexit happens or not, McLaren can be “equally successful.” The real concern is navigating the short-term disruption and uncertainty, he said.

“If we come out with no deal, we don’t know what the trading arrangements (will be) on that first day, and disrupting things like supply chains of parts in, and cars out, has a … really incredible effect on the business and on cash flow,” he explained.

“We can build a great business … against lots of different backdrops but, to not know what you’re planning for, and not being able to prepare for it — that’s the danger,” he said.

— CNBC’s Silvia Amaro and Chloe Taylor contributed to this report.

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