Government confirms tariff-free ambitions

Britain’s car manufacturing industry will avoid trading tariffs post-Brexit if the government is successful in its negotiations with the EU.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, business secretary Greg Clark said that the government’s desire to negotiate tariff-free access to Europe for the car sector was one of the reasons for Nissan’s continued investment in its Sunderland plant.

He said, ‘Our objective would be to ensure that we have continued access to the markets in Europe, and vice versa, without tariffs or bureaucratic impediments. Good negotiations are about finding the common ground. They export a lot to us and we export a lot to them.’

The business secretary also said that he’d spelled out the government’s commitment to see the entire car industry prosper with funding for training and skills, research into electric vehicles and greater use of British companies in the industry’s supply chain.

He said, ‘In the motor industry we’ve had a very long track record of investment in skills, in innovation, in research and development. We want to see the whole industry prosper. You need to build on your strengths. The automotive sector is one of our great strengths in this country. Part of our strategy is to keep it competitive.’

The business secretary added that similar assurances had been given to other manufacturers.