BBC Newsnight visits Volt’s E-bike Factory

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Volt Factory

Earlier this week we opened our factory doors to the BBC Newsnight team for an exclusive tour and look at our daily operations. 

Newsnight at Volt

On the 30th of January, Victoria Derbyshire presented a special programme in front of a live audience in Milton Keynes. The focus of the programme was to examine the impact of Brexit 3 years after the UK officially left the EU.

They came to pay us a visit at the Volt factory in Milton Keynes to catch up with our co-founder and CEO James Metcalfe. The interview conducted by the Economic Editor; Ben Chu is bringing to light the economic impact Brexit is having on British businesses.  

As a proud British manufacturer and brand, director and co-founder James Metcalfe shares with the Newsnight team his hopes and ambitions to wave the flag for UK manufacturing and entrepreneurship in Europe.

Volt Factory


For the complete episode head to BBC iPlayer.

Transcript for Newsnight at Volt E-bike Factory Interview

Narrator: Keeping the wheels turning, but the boss of this electric bike manufacturer in Milton Keynes says the wheels of his business are turning slower than they would otherwise have done, were it not for the UK’s exit from the Single Market and Customs Union just over two years ago. That’s due to new border bureaucracy.

James Metcalfe: Trying to sell into Europe it’s been much much more complex than it was pre-Brexit, really it’s a sort of market they could be buying online from us at the moment, it’s easy for them to go online place an order and have the product ship, but at the moment it’s simply almost impossible to fulfil orders like that. I’d like more to go into Europe now and hit Europe with a British e-bike brand you, know and they want it as well, that’s the irony of it, we get phone calls all the time and people are saying can we buy your bike, can we buy your bike and we just know at the moment it’s just a real, it’s a hassle really to sort of try and organize getting in there.

Ben Chu: Right and it just gives you that thrust, it just naturally does it.

James Metcalfe: You try it up and down there yeah.

Ben Chu: Cool.

Narrator: Not every UK business has been punctured by Brexit, but evidence suggests the majority of those who trade with the continent, especially smaller firms, have.

Ben Chu: Two years on from the end of the Brexit transition and it’s pretty clear from the business surveys and analysis of official trade data that Brexit has had a negative impact on UK exporters so short of going back into the Single Market, which doesn’t seem to be on the cards, politically, what can be done to help firms like this one maximize their economic potential?