UK votes to leave the EU - reaction

Comments on the impact of today's news

Published:  24 June, 2016

Following the UK decision to leave the European Union, leaders and businesses from around the UK automotive market have been having their say on the situation.

With 52% of the British public voting to leave, the UK is now heading down a two-year road to extract itself from EU laws and legislation. The effect on the market is unknown, there are fears that vehicle manufacturers may pull out should the UK get a poor trade deal, that taxes could raise forcing some businesses to relocate or close, and that legislations may not be set in time to cover key issues. However, equally, all could be fine and the UK may emerge as a stronger nation able to call its own shots, protecting smaller businesses and ensuring the country does things the way it wants to.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The British public has chosen a new future out of Europe. Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests. This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets, ensuring we can recruit talent from the EU and the rest of the world and making the UK the most competitive place in Europe for automotive investment.”

IAAF Chief Executive Wendy Williamson adds: “The British people have voted to leave the European Union following the EU referendum last night. The result has caused an immediate reaction both in Europe and the markets, and the government must now work quickly to ensure economic stability over the coming weeks and months as part of the UK’s political and economic negotiations with the EU.

“We do not envisage any immediate impact on the UK aftermarket and will continue to work closely with our colleagues throughout Europe to see what this result means for the UK independent aftermarket and the automotive industry as a whole. After further exploration of this political restructure, we will analyse the affect it may have on current legislation and keep all of our members updated with the latest information at every opportunity.”

Toby Massey, Managing Director, BM Catalysts states: “Before the result we sought the stability of an ‘in’ vote. But that was not to be. Everyone is now in for a turbulent time in the short- to medium-term, with uncertainty rocking the market and unnerving investors. What version of Britain awaits us on the other side of these troubled waters is, however, potentially a much more prosperous place - so there’s room for much optimism as well as natural trepidation. In the coming days, weeks and months we’ll be watching closely to see how those in power act to shore up the ship, and will respond by acting in the best interests of our employees, customers and partners.”

Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan Senior Partner and Managing Director for Europe Sarwant Singh explains: “It is important to note that during this interim period, Britain will still be subject to existing EU treaties and laws, but will be barred from decision making processes. Therefore, existing regulations are likely to continue until negotiations are completed.”

“However, there is uncertainty regarding the path ahead. This could trigger a dip in business sentiment and delays in FDI (Foreign Direct Investments). On a positive note though, Brexit could pave the way for Britain to expand trade relations with the rest of the world beyond EU, and this would especially help mitigate risks arising from excessive reliance on one trading partner.”

What are your thoughts? Email phil@aftermarket.co.uk and we could include them in our September issue, due out on August 26th.

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