The latest round of negotiations over the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU began in earnest this week. Europe’s leaders have been clear that sufficient headway must be made on exit terms before talks on future trade can begin, so UK business will hope for swift and sure progress.
To that end, it is pleasing to see both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor meeting with industry groups this week. Commentators are beginning to see business as increasingly influential in any future agreement – as well they should. Business operations are often determined by EU rules and many firms are also well versed in the minutiae of trading within the EU and without.
Yesterday Theresa May’s new business advisory group met for the first time to discuss concerns around the UK’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, Phillip Hammond, speaking to the CBI on Monday, noted that Brexit is just one in a series of issues facing Europe and the Eurozone and called on businesses to stress the need for agreement on key issues to their continental colleagues and partners.
The truth is that those operating within global and European supply chains see the necessity of a deal most clearly. Therein much of the trouble could lie – the flow of goods across Britain and Europe will need to be maintained while clarity over regulation and continued participation in existing EU trade deals with key international markets must be assured. Yet more reason automotive must be considered a priority sector throughout the Brexit process.
SMMT continues to reiterate its priorities for Brexit and to advise government on the complex rules and regulations with which the motor industry must comply. More information on the industry position is available on our website at www.smmt.co.uk/brexit.
Britain’s trade with Europe will not cease. It’s competitveness, however, will be threatened. UK companies’ expertise and quality products will continue to attract global customers but the cost of those products and services is harder to forecast.
Soure: Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive