Hard Brexit a significant threat to UK motor industry, warns Ford chief

A senior official at car giant Ford has warned that a hard Brexit could be a “significant threat” to the UK’s automotive industry.

Steven Armstrong, Ford’s group vice president, said a hard Brexit was a “red line” for his company.

He said in a statement: “It could severely damage the UK’s competitiveness and result in a significant threat to much of the auto industry, including our own UK manufacturing operations.

“While we think this is a worst-case scenario and that a UK-EU deal will be reached, we will take whatever action is necessary to protect our business in the event of a hard Brexit.

“It’s vital that any UK-EU deal maintains frictionless trade, and we know from our own experience that a Canada-style deal will not deliver a seamless UK-EU border.

“We export engines and import vehicles under the current EU-Canada deal and there are significant customs and border checks at both ends. If this was introduced for all UK-EU trade, the level of congestion and blockages at the ports would undermine our just-in-time manufacturing system.”

If the UK is to remain competitive, any UK-EU trade deal must ensure guaranteed frictionless trade so that industry can plan for the longer term, he added.

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