EEF calls on next UK government to develop an ambitious Brexit deal

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The next UK government has been called upon to develop an ambitious Brexit deal that retains the benefits of the Single Market and enables ‘seamless’ trade between Britain and the EU.

The call by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, comes in its manifesto published on Monday.

A General Election is due to take place on 8 June following a snap election call by Theresa May and the subsequent backing by MPs in Parliament.

EEF’s Making the Future, Making Britain Great manifesto also calls on the next UK government for a comprehensive industrial strategy to boost economic growth and social wellbeing across the UK, which is driven by the office of the Prime Minister with all government departments accountable for delivery.

It said that Britain could build on its position as a modern manufacturing powerhouse if the newly-elected government commits to a long-term, ambitious industrial strategy.

However, plans to boost economic growth could be swamped by Brexit, it warned, while failure to reach an agreement on a comprehensive trade deal with the EU could scupper manufacturers’ ambitions.

The EEF has also called for:

  • A new immigration system giving employers the ability to manage work permits ensuring they have access to the people and skills they need
  • A boost for innovation, enhancing research and development incentives and making a solid commitment to improve digital technology, including the expansion of fast broadband
  • An extension of devolution deals across England with a focus on improving transport links

EEF chief Terry Scuoler said: “Manufacturing industry must be at the heart of any new government’s vision for a strong and successful economic plan for the UK. Manufacturing firms across the UK represent the best of British business and they need to feel certain that government is backing them in the face of the complex process of leaving the EU."