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SMMT warns future UK PM against no-deal Brexit

26 June 2019 Ian Fletcher

(Excerpt)

SMMT warns future UK PM against no-deal Brexit

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on a future UK prime minister to secure a favourable Brexit deal. In a statement made to coincide with the release of the lobby group's 2019 UK Automotive Trade Report, it has warned that new calculations have shown that a hard Brexit could lead to border delays worth GBP50,000 per minute to the UK automotive industry, which it notes could reach GBP70 million per day in a worst-case scenario. It also noted that this would come on top of tariffs under World Trade Organization (WTO) terms that would amount to GBP4.5 billion per year for passenger cars alone.

Significance: The terms under which the UK will leave the EU have been thrown further into doubt by current Prime Minister Theresa May stepping down. This has led to a contest within the ruling Conservative Party for her replacement, which has been whittled down to two contenders, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson. One of their key differences is over how the country will leave the EU. Johnson has stated that he would take the country out of the EU by the current deadline of 31 October, while Hunt has told BBC News that he would leave the EU without a deal, but not if there was a "prospect of a better deal". Both however believe they will be able to reopen the discussions with the European Union (EU) concluded under May, something to which the EU has been strongly objecting. It is also questionable whether both will find themselves in the same position as May in that they are unable to get any deal through the House of Commons. The decision over the next leader should be concluded during the next fortnight when the membership of the Conservative Party are given their say on the matter.


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