Motor industry chief warns over impact of Brexit on investment

PA

Investment in the British motor industry has fallen by nearly a half in a year, with uncertainty over Brexit being blamed.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said £347 million of investment was earmarked for new models and facilities in the UK in the first half of this year, compared with £647.4 million in the same period in 2017.

The trade association is calling for the Government to safeguard jobs in the sector and to end the current uncertainty about the UK's future trading relationship with the EU post-Brexit.

SMMT conference
SMMT conference

Chief executive Mike Hawes said: "There is growing frustration in global boardrooms at the slow pace of negotiations.

"The current position, with conflicting messages and red lines, goes directly against the interests of the UK automotive sector which has thrived on single market and customs union membership.

"There is no credible plan B for frictionless customs arrangements, nor is it realistic to expect that new trade deals can be agreed with the rest of the world that will replicate the immense value of trade with the EU."

Adding that the best model for customs and trade with the EU was the current one, he added: "There is no Brexit dividend for our industry, particularly in what is an increasingly hostile and protectionist global trading environment."

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