‘Brexit Readiness Programme’ prepares automotive sector for ‘no-deal’
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has launched a ‘Brexit Readiness Programme’ to help the automotive industry prepare for the UK leaving the EU. With less than six months left for a withdrawal deal to be reached, the automotive industry has again stressed the risks it faces from a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
While automotive businesses of all sizes will face challenges, the programme is focussed on the small to medium-sized companies in the automotive supply chain that “represent the backbone of the entire sector”.
Phase one of the Brexit Readiness Programme involves expert advice and consultancy services from the SMMT, PwC, Squire Patton Boggs, Deloitte, Gowling WLG and Grant Thornton. A free helpline will be available for Brexit issues.
These services are designed to advise SMMT members on issues such as adapting to regulation changes, trade arrangements, customs procedures and tax arrangements. Critically, the service will also advise companies on employment law and immigration given that around 10% of the UK’s automotive workforce are EU nationals.
A strong local supply chain is the backbone of any manufacturing sector, and ours has thrived thanks to massive reshoring efforts and the ability to trade freely and frictionlessly with the EU.
Mike Hawes – SMMT Chief Executive
The SMMT reports that the UK automotive supply chain contributes £4.9 billion to the economy, supports 82,000 jobs and is “deeply integrated” with the EU. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, nearly 40% of all employment in the British automotive industry is located in the Midlands.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “A strong local supply chain is the backbone of any manufacturing sector, and ours has thrived thanks to massive reshoring efforts and the ability to trade freely and frictionlessly with the EU.”
He added that the consequences of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit could be “devastating” and with “the clock ticking on negotiations, businesses must plan for all eventualities, including the worst”.
The new programme was launched on Wednesday at the SMMT’s Midlands Regional Forum in Derby where the industry repeated its call for a smooth exit from the EU. Hawes said that the package “seeks to mitigate the threat of ‘no-deal’ by helping businesses navigate the complex trade realities of a post-Brexit landscape.”