A No-Deal Brexit will kill off the British car industry and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) has said in a hard-hitting statement. Anna Tobin reports
With immediate effect, a no-deal Brexit will halt production, undermine competitiveness and cause irreversible and severe damage stated the SMMT. It warns that border delays will halt just-in-time manufacturing and production, tariffs will add at least £4.5 billion to industry costs and that while many companies are making contingency plans, it is impossible for any individual company to fully mitigate the risks of a no-deal Brexit.
It states: “The hundreds of SMEs across the domestic supply chain – the backbone of our lean and successful automotive industry – are unlikely to have the time or resources to prepare for the huge and immediate changes to their trading conditions. Such a shock to the system cannot be ‘managed’, leaving them to bear the brunt of a ‘No Deal’.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “As UK motor companies are being told to prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, the long-standing fears of the industry are becoming a reality. Brexit is already having an impact – in output, costs and jobs. But this does not compare with the catastrophic consequences of leaving the EU without a deal. The Just-in-Time nature of automotive means the impact of ‘No Deal’ will be felt, not in months or days, but hours.
“There is no such thing as a ‘managed’ ‘No Deal’. We would face immediate delivery shortages, additional costs, and uncertainty, which will seriously damage our sector. Both Government and parliament have a responsibility to take this option off the table or risk destroying this vital UK industry.”