Brexit: Automakers warn against unregulated EU exit

Together against Boris Johnson: The European car manufacturers are worried about the consequences of leaving the UK from the European Union (EU) without an agreement. A so-called no-deal Brexit will hit the industry hard, according to a statement by 23 manufacturers and suppliers' associations.

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  1. Fraunhofer Institute for Short-Time Dynamics, Ernst Mach Institute, EMI, Freiburg im Breisgau, Efringen-Kirchen
  2. ENERCON GmbH, Westerstede

The automotive industry needs the benefits of the single market and the customs union. An exit of Great Britain from the EU without agreement "would lead to a seismic change in trading conditions". write the associations, An end to barrier-free trade could mean billions in tariffs. The sufferers are the customers and consumers both in the UK and on the continent. In addition, the end of free trade could disturb the just-in-time operation.

"The EU and UK automotive industry needs smooth trade and would be severely damaged by additional duties and administrative burdens on car parts and vehicles"said Bernhard Mattes, still president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry. He called on the EU and Britain to take all necessary steps to avoid Brexit without agreement.

Christian Peugeot, President of the French Confederation of Constructors Francais d'Automobiles (CCFA), emphasized that Britain's exit from the EU is affecting the whole industry. "Brexit is not just a British problem, it affects the whole European car industry and beyond", he said. "Whether as an exporter to the UK market or as a local producer, what we are both – it will inevitably hit us."

Britain should leave the EU by the end of March; the date has been postponed to the 31st of October. An agreement negotiated by Johnson's predecessor Teresa May with the EU was rejected by parliamentarians in London. Johnson wants to stick to the exit on 31 October, even at the price of a no-deal Brexit. However, this was prohibited by law.

According to the associations, 19.1 million vehicles are produced in Europe every year. 13.8 million people work in the automotive industry.