EU and UK manufacturing sector calls for smooth Brexit deal

1 min read

European Union (EU) and UK negotiators have been called upon by manufacturing groups across Europe and the UK to agree a Brexit deal that supports trade and reduces the risk of economic shocks.

CEEMET, a Brussels-based manufacturing group, which includes the EEF and French, Italian and German manufacturing organisations, has called on both sides to ‘affect a stable and orderly exit’ that preserves the trading relationships that are in place as much as possible.

The call comes as Britain prepares to trigger the formal Article 50 exit notification and begin the Brexit process.

Uwe Combüchen, director general of CEEMET, said: “If we are to avoid a ‘lose-lose’ outcome for European manufacturing, it is essential that all parties work towards a reasonable deal for industry, while ensuring the integrity of the single market. Simply put, a negotiation which produces no deal would be highly damaging for industry in the EU as well as the UK.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, said: “These negotiations are likely to be amongst the toughest and most critical the UK has ever been involved in.

“It is imperative that the government is focussed on securing a deal that will enable both British and European businesses to flourish, investment and innovation to continue and trade to flow. This will be the lifeblood that is key to the UK’s future economic success - we cannot afford to see it disrupted or turned off in mid flow.”

He said that as a priority they want to see the government seek early agreement with the EU over the future of EU citizens living and working in the UK and their British counterparts living and workingin Europe.

“Above all, it’s time for the government to demonstrate its support and understanding of business by striving to deliver a pragmatic and realisticdeal,” Scuoler added.

“Forget all notion of crashing out of the EU without a deal and leaving business to pick up the pieces – focus instead on an orderly and smooth transition, the continuation of barrier-free trade, minimisation of costs and ongoing access to required talent and skills. Nothing less will do.”