Brexit bill could cost motor sector £42.7 billion says SMMT

Published:  27 November, 2019

New figures from the SMMT show that if the UK faced trade tariffs following Brexit, the result would decimate UK car manufacturing, with 1.5 million vehicles lost by 2024 at a cost of £42.7 billion.

At its Annual Dinner last night (Tuesday 26 November 2019), SMMT President George Gillespie outlined the industry’s vision for the future, saying, “The automotive sector is going through a period of unprecedented change and we must not let the pressure of Brexit deflect from our focus on a coherent national industrial strategy. Collaboration between industry and government must be stronger than ever.”

He spoke as SMMT revealed new figures showing the impact of Brexit without a trade deal. Independent research commissioned by the trade body shows WTO tariffs on imported components and exported vehicles would add more than £3.2 billion a year to UK automotive manufacturing costs.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented: “UK Automotive’s needs are clear: frictionless trade free of tariffs, with regulatory alignment and continued access to talent. Detailed trade negotiations have yet to begin. They will be complex and they will take time. But a close trading relationship is essential to unlock investment so we can deliver our goals: cleaner air, zero carbon emissions, and the ability to go on building our products and marketing them globally.

“Rather than producing two million cars a year by 2020, a no trade deal, WTO tariff worst case scenario could see us making just a million. The next government must deliver the ambition, the competitive business environment and the commitment needed to keep automotive in Britain.”

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