Should the UK leave the EU without a no-deal Brexit the UK’s motor industry could suffer production losses of up to £55bn over the next five years.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are urging Boris Johnson to get a deal that avoids resorting to tariffs under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
In 38 days’ time the Brexit transmission period ends, and the SMMT warned that the automotive sector has already been badly affected by coronavirus.
The SMMT said that a no-deal Brexit will minimise tariffs and trade barriers.
The warned that this will have “a severe impact on the sector’s ability to develop and manufacture the next generation of zero emission cars and vans, as well as holding back market uptake of these vehicles.”
The group’s chief executive, Mike Hawes said, “Automotive is nothing if not determined, adaptable and resilient, yet, as the clock ticks ever closer to midnight on Brexit negotiations, the competitiveness and employment we need get back to growth – green growth – hangs in the balance.”
The SMMT said that the WTO tariffs will have a £55.4bn impact on the automotive sector within five years, and production will plummet below 1m units.
Vehicle production is down by 5% to just 114,732 in September compared to 2019, which has suffered the worst production since 1995 amid the pandemic.
Speaking at SMMT 2020 Update Live, the organisation’s president Dr George Gillespie said, “We need a future trading relationship that works for automotive.
“We’ve already spent nigh on a billion pounds preparing for the unknown of Brexit and lost 28 times that to Covid.
“Let us not also be left counting the cost of tariffs, especially not by accident.
“Industry can deliver the jobs growth we need and help rebuild a devastated economy, but Government must work with us to create the environment for this success.
“That starts with a favourable Brexit deal and a bold strategy to help transform automotive production in the UK, attract new investment, upskill our workforce and build world-leading battery capability to future-proof our manufacturing.
“When Covid lifts, we need to be ready.
“Ready to support Government to engineer an economic and green recovery.”