`

Derbyshire business chief says Brexit could ‘damage county’s business beyond repair’

Mark Lord is pictured.
Mark Lord is pictured.

A Derbyshire business chief has slammed Brexit, insisting if the UK leaves Europe it could ‘break Britain’ and mean ‘only bad news for small to medium size businesses’.

Mark Lord, managing director of industrial lubricants specialist, Aztec Oils, has also warned that if the controversial move does go ahead, his company may have to move overseas- putting 100 jobs at risk.

Mark, who founded the firm in 1995, said: “As a business, we’re doing all we can to stop Brexit from happening. Leaving Europe could break Britain and damage Derbyshire’s national economy so badly, we may never recover from it.

“Aztec Oils is currently thriving, but once Brexit goes ahead it will trigger a series of events, which will most certainly mean moving a percentage of the business out of the country, maybe even all of it.”

Mark has joined the People’s Vote campaign, which seeks to ensure the government’s Brexit deal is put before the country in a public vote.

To mark Aztec Oil’s campaign, a camera crew from the People’s Vote organisation filmed Mark as part of a promotional video which will be used for further promotion.

He said: “I feel extremely passionate about this and I was only too happy to be interviewed. I firmly believe a lot of people voted on leaving, not having given the real-life implications a second thought. The reality of it means, leaving the EU will be sizeable and long term and spells only bad news for small to medium size businesses.”

Mark and his team have been wearing t-shirts they had commissioned to support the People’s Vote campaign. The garment features caricatures of Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on horses, almost falling off the edge of a ridge with the words “they are hell bent on taking us off the cliff”.

Aztec Oils has about 20 per cent of its business in the Republic of Ireland which will remain in the European Union.

Mark added: “However, it is now clear that with increased tariffs, transport and administration we will be unable to retain this business as our European competitors will easily be able to undercut our prices.

“Our biggest supply chain is through Europe, where again, we will face increased costs in tariffs, transport and administration as well as the huge delays that will occur on our borders.

“Leaving the customs union and single market will destroy the UK’s manufacturing sector and our ability to supply our most important markets. With 30 per cent of all food consumed within the UK coming from the EU, prices will increase dramatically, with wages unable to keep pace, everybody will be worse off.”

Aztec Oils manufactures and distributes high-performance lubricants to a wide range of industrial sectors, including exporting to Pakistan, Iraq, Ghana and Ukraine. Aztec prides itself on being able to supply industrial lubricants for even the harshest environment.

Aztec was established in 1995 by Mark Lord and initially operated from a shed on the Bolsover site.

It has grown steadily and made a number of acquisitions in recent years including Midlands-based Oiline Ltd in 2010, Northern Oils in Scotland in 2016, and Netherlands-based OWT Services BV earlier this year. Overall, the company now employs 110 staff.