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London — Britain’s economy contracted sharply in April after the biggest decline in car production since records began, as manufacturers were unable to reverse closures planned for Britain’s expected departure from the EU.

Early in 2019, many motor manufacturers had announced temporary shutdowns in Britain for April, anticipating trade disruption around the time Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29. In the event, Prime Minister Theresa May delayed departure with just days to go and subsequently set a new date of October 31, but that was too late for businesses to change their plans. ..

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