Support for ‘devastating’ no-deal Brexit launched by car industry body

The SMMT doesn’t want a disorderly Brexit, but is taking steps to help car firms in case there is one

Car production lineThe Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has launched a Brexit Readiness Programme to help UK automotive firms in case of a ‘no-deal’ exit from the European Union.

The support package will help guide firms, especially smaller ones, through the ‘planning minefield’ of a so-called cliff-edge Brexit. The SMMT has worked with five specialist legal and accountancy firms to provide advice focused on the automotive industry.

“A ‘no-deal’ Brexit could have devastating consequences,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “With the clock ticking on negotiations, businesses must plan for all eventualities, including the worst.

“Our new support package seeks to mitigate the threat of ‘no-deal’ by helping businesses navigate the complex trade realities of a post-Brexit landscape.”

Brexit helpline

Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of Britain’s automotive supply chain, says the SMMT. Almost 7 in 10 companies employ fewer than 10 people. Many such firms will not have the resources to prepare for a dramatic no-deal Brexit, which is why the SMMT has devised its Brexit Readiness Package.

Areas covered by the online programme for SMMT members includes:

  • How to value and prove the origin of goods
  • How to cope with delays moving goods in and out of the UK (including extra warehousing arrangements)
  • Extra paperwork involved in new customers arrangements
  • How to fill in more complex customs declarations
  • Cashflow implications through tariff payments and other taxes

There will also be an automotive Brexit helpline.

Such help is vital said Hawes, because the UK automotive supply chain supports more than 80,000 jobs and contributes almost £5 billion to the UK economy. It has thrived thanks to frictionless trade with the EU: the SMMT wants to help this continue whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

The organisation also repeated its call for an orderly withdrawal and transition deal, to minimise the need for key parts of its Brexit Readiness Programme…

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Richard Aucock
I'm director at Motoring Research. I run a bit, cycle a bit, have a huge love for the automotive industry.


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