CEO Update

Time for government to focus on offering stability and reassurance

14 December 2018 #CEO Update

For much of the latter part of the year, every week has been seen as a ‘crunch’ week in the progress of Brexit negotiations, with tough decisions needing to be made and the stakes getting ever higher.

Without consensus in Parliament, a ‘no deal’ Brexit looms ever larger – a scenario we have consistently warned is simply not an option. Frictionless trade in the EU has driven the success of the UK automotive industry, and leaving abruptly without a deal would be catastrophic.

Our recent survey of members showed that Brexit uncertainty has already had a significant impact on the majority of UK automotive firms. The proposed deal accommodates many of the concerns that we have raised with the government in recent months, providing for a vital transition period and ensuring we can continue to trade under current beneficial conditions while new ambitious arrangements are negotiated.

Government and parliament must now come together in the national interest to deliver stability and offer reassurance to automotive businesses who are worried about the future. UK Automotive is worth £20.2 billion to the country’s economy and will flourish if the conditions are right.

In other news this week, our colleagues at ACEA (the European Car Manufacturers’ Association) in Brussels have warned about the impact that introducing stringent CO2 targets will have on affordability for low and middle-income families.

We all know that the automotive industry is genuinely committed to lessening the environmental impact of the vehicles on our roads, but the targets need to be appropriate and commercially achievable. And that includes the right framework of incentives and promotion to ensure the latest low-emission technology is affordable and attainable by all, quickening fleet renewal which is the fastest way to achieve air quality and climate change goals.

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