The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has advised the new UK prime minister Boris Johnson against a no-deal Brexit, saying it is “simply not an option”.
In a 26 July letter to Johnson, SMMT CEO Mike Hawes highlighted the “dramatic and exciting changes” taking place within the automotive sector and urged the new prime minister to secure a deal before the country’s scheduled departure from the European Union (EU) in autumn.
“A no-deal Brexit presents an existential threat to our industry,” the industry veteran said in his letter.
The industry, according to Hawes, is “highly integrated with Europe”, and a no-deal Brexit would result in “huge tariff costs and disruption that would threaten production.”
In addition, such tariffs would undermine international investors’ confidence in the UK, the SMMT CEO added.
“We need a deal with the EU that secures frictionless and tariff free trade. No-deal Brexit is simply not an option,” Hawes said.
Johnson was elected as the new leader of the UK’s Conservative Party on 23 July, to replace Theresa May who stepped down from the position amid political turmoil.
The former London mayor has vowed to deliver Brexit at the end of October “come what may”, raising fears of a no-deal departure.
Johnson has also been urged by UK’s Chemical Industries Association (CIA), amongst others, to avoid a hard Brexit scenario, and to secure a deal which would “fundamentally strengthen the chances of growth and prosperity happening.”