SMMT has issued a statement in response to government’s announcement on future customs arrangements.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,
It is encouraging that government recognises the need for interim arrangements which must be in place until the new relationship with our biggest trading partner is implemented. The automotive industry needs certainty to attract investment and make planning decisions so such a move – if agreed by the EU – would take some time pressure off these difficult negotiations.
It is also reassuring to see the Government recognise the particular importance of customs arrangements to sectors such as automotive which are subject to Rules of Origin requirements and operate ‘just in time’ processes. However, to maintain frictionless trade and ensure business only has to adjust to one change, interim arrangements must retain membership of a customs union with the EU and full participation in the single market. Any other arrangement risks additional administration, delays and costs, undermining the competitiveness of UK exporters and increasing the costs of imports. We will continue to work with government to try and avoid such an outcome.