Skip advert
Advertisement

UK car industry calls for a special EU deal to avoid Brexit "cliff edge"

The automotive industry faces falling off a "cliff edge" if a trade deal with the EU is not reached in two years' time

Nissan Plant Sunderland

The UK must secure access to the European single market and customs union through a transitional deal to stop the automotive sector falling off a “cliff edge” following the Brexit negotiations, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said. 

The automotive industry body warned that Brexit poses a threat to the sector and is sceptical that a final trade agreement with the EU will be reached by the March 2019 deadline. The SMMT warned that this could mean that current, tariff-free trade is replaced with trade barriers by the EU, raising the costs of production for UK plants and manufacturers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Brexit fall-out could add £2,300 to UK car prices

Previous research has shown that if the UK was unable to reach a trade agreement with the European Union it could fall back on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime, where finished cars could face a 10 per cent tariff with components facing a 4.5 per cent fee. According to previous estimates by the SMMT, this could add £1,500 to the price of imported cars. 

Instead, the SMMT wants the Government to seek an arrangement with the EU whereby the UK remains in the single market and customs union – securing free trade – until a new relationship is brokered, regardless of the deadline for the negotiations.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said reaching a trade deal with the EU in two years "cannot be delivered" and has instead called for a transitional deal: "We need a clear interim arrangement – an arrangement enabling 'business as usual' from day one." 

• UK car prices and specs guide

Hawes added: “We accept that we are leaving the European Union. But our biggest fear is that, in two years’ time, we fall off a cliff edge – no deal, outside the single market and customs union and trading on inferior World Trade Organisation terms.

“This would undermine our competitiveness and our ability to attract the investment that is critical to future growth."

Are you worried about the future of the UK's car industry? Tell us in the comments below...  

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Banned car number plates: naughty 74-reg number plates deemed too rude for the roads
Number plates
News

Banned car number plates: naughty 74-reg number plates deemed too rude for the roads

The DVLA has revealed its list of new-for-2024 number plates judged too saucy for the streets, and there are plenty of potential shockers on the banne…
10 Apr 2024
Car tax 2024: how does UK VED road tax work and how much will it cost you?
car tax calculator
Tips & advice

Car tax 2024: how does UK VED road tax work and how much will it cost you?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay to tax your next car in the 2024/25 financial year
9 Apr 2024
‘Greedy’ UK car insurers blamed as soaring premiums far exceed rise in payouts
Car insurance form, car key and a model car
News

‘Greedy’ UK car insurers blamed as soaring premiums far exceed rise in payouts

Do modest price rises abroad - as low as 2 per cent in France - prove car insurance companies are ripping-off British drivers?
8 Apr 2024
New ‘24’ plate boosts UK new car sales in March after “two tough years”
DVLA V5C document and car keys
News

New ‘24’ plate boosts UK new car sales in March after “two tough years”

According to the SMMT, over 300,000 new cars have received the new ‘24’ registration plate so far, with new car sales up 10% year-on-year
4 Apr 2024

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month
Peugeot 2008 facelift - full front
News

Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month

Buyers can snap up the Peugeot 2008 small SUV at a bargain price; it’s our Car Deal of the Day for 10 April at just £142 a month
10 Apr 2024
Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details
Alfa Romeo Milano - front 3/4 static
News

Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details

Alfa Romeo re-entered the small SUV sector with the new Milano offered in pure electric and petrol forms
13 Apr 2024
New Kia Sorento 2024 review: a good car just got even better
Kia Sorento - front
Road tests

New Kia Sorento 2024 review: a good car just got even better

The popular seven-seat Kia Sorento SUV gets a new look, and a lower starting price
10 Apr 2024