Annual manufacturing data this week underscores the importance of global markets to UK manufacturing. More than 60% of commercial vehicle output is exported to global markets, the majority going to the EU.
The need for clarity on the transitional arrangements for Brexit is becoming more urgent by the day. These arrangements must be comprehensive, minimise disruption allow business to continue as usual until a new trading relationship is in place. This means maintaining the UK’s membership of the single market and customs union and addressing critical details that, if ignored, could have a damaging effect on the industry’s competitiveness.
The agreement must include guarantees that the UK will continue to benefit from EU Free Trade Agreements and Customs Union arrangements with third countries, for the duration of transition. Secondly, vehicle certifications that have been issued in the UK must remain valid at home and abroad so that vehicles can continue to be sold across the EU. Finally, no new customs checks, which would add cost, cause delays and disrupt manufacturing, should be applied during the transition.
SMMT continues to work to ensure industry’s voice is heard during the on-going Brexit negotiations.