Brexit deal must be next PM’s top priority urges automotive sector

Published:  25 June, 2019

A favourable Brexit deal is absolutely vital for the UK automotive sector, and securing one should be the top priority for the UK’s next Prime Minister, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said today (Tuesday 25 June) at the industry’s annual International Automotive Summit.

The call came as the trade body published a new report highlighting the importance of automotive trade to the UK economy and the high stakes of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. The SMMT’s 2019 UK Automotive Trade Report calculates that delays to production caused by friction at the border could add up to £50,000 a minute for the sector.

Addressing the International Automotive Summit in London this morning, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “Automotive matters to UK trade and to the economy, and this report shows that, if the right choices are made, a bright future is possible. However, ‘no deal’ remains the clear and present danger. We are already seeing the consequences of uncertainty, the fear of no deal. The next PM’s first job in office must be to secure a deal that maintains frictionless trade because, for our industry, ‘no deal’ is not an option and we don’t have the luxury of time.”   According to the SMMT, free and frictionless trade afforded by the customs union and single market has meant that the value of automotive trade has risen by 118% since the global financial recession, from £47 billion in 2009 to £101 billion last year.

SMMT’s first-ever UK Automotive Trade Report charts the rise of the sector over 40 years, outlining current and future challenges and opportunities for trade with Europe and globally. It sets out recommendations to government and industry to help boost competitiveness, promote frictionless trade with existing markets and unlock new business between the UK and key export destinations around the world.

To read the report go to: www.smmt.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019-UK-AUTOMOTIVE-TRADE-REPORT.pdf

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