SMMT calls for security

The SMMT has called for government to secure a transitional Brexit deal to protect the future of the UK car industry.

The SMMT believes Britain is highly unlikely to reach a final agreement with the EU by the March 2019 deadline which it claims could lead to vehicle manufacturers facing a ‘cliff edge’, whereby tariff-free trade is withdrawn suddenly.

According to the BBC, the SMMT said any new relationship with the EU would need to address tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulatory and labour issues, ‘all of which will take time to negotiate’.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said, ‘We accept that we are leaving the EU.

‘But our biggest fear is that, in two years’ time, we fall off a cliff edge – no deal, outside the single market and customs union and trading on inferior World Trade Organization terms.

‘This would undermine our competitiveness and our ability to attract the investment that is critical to future growth.’

The SMMT has called on the government to seek an interim arrangement, whereby the UK stayed in the single market and customs union until a new relationship was brokered.