SMMT responds to PM’s Brexit speech

Written by Ellie

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has issued a response to the latest speech by prime minister Theresa May regarding the government's stance on upcoming negotiations for the UK to leave the EU.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes stated that it was a positive step to hear the prime minister recognise the importance of the single market to the UK's automotive industry when making her address earlier this week.

However, with threats of a full withdrawal from the market should the negotiations prove fruitless in the next few years, the SMMT warned that trade which remains tariff-free and avoids unnecessary regulatory hurdles must be the target.

"Achieving this will not be easy and we must, at all costs, avoid a cliff-edge and reversion to WTO tariffs, which would threaten the viability of the industry," he argued.

Failure to successfully negotiate an EU exit strategy that achieves these aims would not only impact the UK automotive sector greatly in the years ahead, but would lead to serious issues for the consumer in the process, Mr Hawes concluded.

Natalie Brinkley, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: "Ensuring the long-term viability of the UK automotive sector should be a top priority for the government – especially given the fact the industry is one of the nation's largest employers and accounts for more than 12 per cent of all UK goods exports each year."

Posted on 18th January 2017

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